COVID-19 & The CARES Act

We realize the alarming nature of today’s pandemic, which is why we—as the leaders of Northeastern Seminary and Roberts Wesleyan College—will continue to monitor, protect and ensure the well being of our entire Seminary and College community. We are following the guidance and counsel from national leaders and will keep communications open and consistent with you until we, as a campus and nation, have more answers. 

We are in this together. Please continue to be in prayer for our country and in support of all people.

CARES Act Funding

Northeastern Seminary has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education acknowledging that we will use 50% of the funds received from the CARES Act to award as Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. We received a total of $15,122.72 and we are using 50%, or $7,561.36, in cash grants directly to students.

At the time of reporting on May 24, 2020, we have not distributed any funds to students as we work through the latest guidance from the federal government as to which students are eligible to receive grants through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and how much each eligible student should receive.
As of June 5, 2020, all checks or direct deposits were issued to 47 eligible students.  These students were determined eligible based on the Department of Education requirements using the following criteria:

  • Were enrolled in a degree-seeking program on March 16, 2020 (first Monday after the National Emergency was declared)
  • Had eligible 2019-2020 FAFSA on file
  • Were not enrolled in a fully online program
  • Each student received a cash grant of $160.88


For those students who were not issued a CARES Act grant, Northeastern has created an alternative avenue for meeting emergency needs, and has contacted students through email to do so.

CARES Act FAQ

What is the CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant?

The CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant Fund provides emergency financial aid assistance to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus as stipulated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. Awards will be distributed to eligible Roberts Wesleyan students based on need as determined by the 2019-20 FAFSA with an emphasis on providing additional support to the neediest populations. 

The emergency grants to students was allocated because of the likelihood of incurring costs for expenses related to disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.

Who is eligible for the CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant?

Federal regulations require schools to confirm that a student receiving any CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant meets the following requirements: 

  • Is a US Citizen or an eligible noncitizen
  • Has a valid Social Security number
  • Is registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male and between the ages of 18 and 25
  • Is not in default on a federal student loan
  • Does not owe money on a federal student grant
  • Is a currently enrolled student

How is the eligibility for the CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant determined?

Students had to be enrolled in classes as of March 16, 2020 and have a valid 2019-2020 FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Financial Services. 

Is the CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant a loan or have any repayment requirements?

These Student Emergency Relief grants are not loans and are not considered Title IV federal financial aid. The grants do not need to be repaid.

How will I receive the CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant?

The grant will be sent to you in the form of a check,  or, if you have previously received a student refund as direct deposit, you will receive the funding in your bank account that is on file.  Direct deposits and checks were issued by June 6, 2020.

What next steps do I take if I have additional needs beyond what this grant can help me with?

The Office of Student Financial Services will follow up in the next couple of weeks to tell you about next steps that you can take to let us know about your additional needs.  

Message from President Porterfiled

This is a fluid situation and subject to change. Please continue to check [this website] for regular updates and new information. 

Update 6/11/20

Dear Roberts and Northeastern Students,

As the Governor continues to announce the guidelines and required parameters for reopening New York State, our Roberts Restart Team has been working on the necessary details for the reopening of campus offices and for a safe return to campus.

With the Finger Lakes Region in Phase 3, which allows offices to reopen with precautions, Roberts and Northeastern will be inviting employees to return to campus in a phased approach beginning June 22, with a limited number of identified staff. All recommended safety measures will be followed and we are taking all precautions to begin slowly opening our physical campus.

Although we would love to see you, please do not come to campus until we are able to announce details of a full reopening. The faculty and staff will continue to use email, virtual meetings and phone to reach out to you and each other.

If our first step moves forward as expected, and the Finger Lakes Region continues progressing toward the next phase, on July 7 we will invite 50% of our employees to return to campus. By August 3, we hope to open all offices to 80% of our faculty and staff, with exceptions for those with special health concerns.

The College has been asked by state and local officials not to announce any plans for student return until after specific guidelines are received from the Governor's Office. We are abiding by that expectation. I know you are waiting for an announcement regarding your fall semester and we are eager to make it. You will hear that message from me as soon as we are able to provide it.

In the meantime, we continue to prepare for you. While nearly all of us have been off-campus during the past few months, our Facilities team has conducted a thorough deep-cleaning of all our buildings. They will continue to implement a careful regimen of sanitation and disinfecting of all facilities as we move through reopening. A successful return is the responsibility of our entire community and we each play an important role in supporting the health and safety of each other and our campus.

Please continue to watch your college email for details about your program and expectations for when you are on campus, whether as a resident or commuter - face to face or online. Information will also be regularly updated on the College website. I know there has been a lot on your minds over these last few months. Thank you for your patience as we work towards reopening our campus.

Looking forward,

Dr. Deana L. Porterfield

CARES Act Student Funding


Northeastern Seminary has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education acknowledging that we will use 50% of the funds received from the CARES Act to award as Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. We received a total of $15,122 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES act, and we are using 50%, or $7,561, in cash grants directly to students. At the time of reporting on May 25, 2020, we have not distributed any funds to students as we work through the latest guidance from the federal government as to which students are eligible to receive grants through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and how much each eligible student should receive. There is no need for students to apply. Students will automatically be considered as we complete the process for determining student eligibility. Students will receive an emailed letter in the coming weeks that indicates whether or not they are eligible to receive funds, when to expect funds and instructions on how to alert the Seminary if they have additional needs.

COVID-19 Guidelines & References

At Northeastern Seminary, the health and safety of every person in our community is a priority. Given the current impact of COVID-19, we are monitoring the reports as well the recommendations from the Monroe County Health Department, New York State Health Department and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We are committed to keeping our community informed and implementing steps to contain the spread of the virus. We encourage all members of the Northeastern community to stay informed and take preventive health measures.

COVID-19 Update as of 3/28/20 at 4:00 PM

This is a fluid situation and subject to change. Please continue to check for regular updates and new information.

Update 3/28/20 at 4:00 PM

EMPLOYEE MEMBER TESTED POSITIVE

On Saturday, March 28, Roberts Wesleyan College officials were informed that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee has been working remotely since March 18 and was last on campus on March 17. Upon being notified, we immediately engaged the Monroe County Department of Health to begin the process of notifying employees who had close contact with the affected person. That notification process has begun. Employees who have had close contact will be advised, per CDC protocols, that they should begin a 14-day period of quarantine and monitor for symptoms. The majority of our employees have been working remotely since March 19.

We will continue to keep the Roberts Wesleyan College community informed. We pray for the impacted employee and their family, and continue to pray for the health of everyone through this unprecedented time.

All community members are advised to practice self-monitoring and personal prevention habits.

COVID-19 Update as of 3/26/2020 at 10:15 AM

This is a fluid situation and subject to change. Please continue to check [this website] for regular updates and new information.

Update 3/26/20 at 10:15 AM

Message from the President
March 26, 2020

Dear Students,

Like you, our Roberts and Northeastern community continues to respond to COVID-19 and the parameters coming from New York State and the Federal Government. THANK YOU for your flexibility and understanding as we have done our best to respond in these difficult realities. So much has transpired since our decision to continue our semester remotely from March 16 - April 13. Each day the administration, faculty and staff have worked to make the best decisions for our community and your continued education.

After reviewing the current New York State and CDC guidelines, we have decided to continue online delivery through the end of the spring semester. In addition, this summer’s classes will all be offered online only. Many students were already planning to take summer classes online, and we will be in contact with any students who were registered for onsite classes this summer. I am sure, for our onsite students, the thought of not returning to campus is as disappointing for you as it is for us. We continue to look forward to the time we can meet together face-to-face. A decision will be made no later than Friday, April 3, 2020 regarding Commencement. Graduating students will be notified directly. A decision about our in-person Doctor of Ministry residency will be made no later than April 30, 2020.

We are continuing to work through the details and implications of this announcement. Decisions are ongoing and I encourage you to go to the nes.edu/covid-19/ FAQ’s for more details. The following is designed to provide high-level direction on some of the outstanding decisions. Please visit nes.edu/covid-19/ for the most up to date information.

I recognize there are additional questions you may have. Please continue to direct all questions to the COVID-19 Questions and Concerns link on the website. We are regularly checking and responding to emails received. Thank you for your understanding as we navigate our ever-changing climate. Know that our community is praying for you, our students, as we navigate this unprecedented time in our history.

Together,

Dr. Deana L. Porterfield

COVID-19 UPDATE AS OF 3/20/2020 at 5:30 PM

This is a fluid situation and subject to change. Please continue to check [this website] for regular updates and new information.

Update 3/20/20 at 5:30 PM

All face-to-face classes continue to take place via virtual delivery for Northeastern Seminary students. All campus facilities are closed. All campus services remain available virtually. If you are looking for campus resources such as the Counselling Center, Learning Center, Golisano Library, ITS, Financial Aid, Registratration, and Career Services, please contact those offices directly. Call 585-594-6000 to be transferred to the department you would like to speak to or to make plans to connect virtually.

Please note there are still no reported cases of COVID19 on the Roberts and Northeastern campus.

COVID-19 UPDATE AS OF 3/14/2020 at 2:30 PM

This is a fluid situation and subject to change. Please continue to check [this website] for regular updates and new information. 

Update 3/14/20 2:30 PM:

Monroe County declared a state of emergency today with the second confirmed COVID-19 case, who is a Greece Central School District employee. There have been several school closings in the area. Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary is aware of this information and is waiting on guidance from Monroe County Department of Public Health to determine the next steps for our students and employees.

While there remain no confirmed cases on our campus, we are doing our due diligence to discern whether there is any increased threat to our campus community.

Message from the President
March 12, 2020

I understand you have may have many questions and concerns about both the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of it on our life and work on campus. Our Emergency Response Team and the COVID-19 Task Force has been, and will continue, to work tirelessly to provide us all with the most up to date information, and together we will update you through multiple avenues of communication in the days ahead.

We have been closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation as a global, national and local threat to public health. Our first priority is the health and safety of our campus community: our students who live on campus, our adult and commuting population, those studying abroad, and our faculty and staff family.

After much prayer, discussion and consultation, we have made the following decisions to mitigate the potential spread of the virus to our campus, and to respond to the call for protective measures to reduce its spread across the greater community. I believe we have made these decisions with the sincerest effort to be global citizens and good neighbors.

This is an extraordinary situation and we appreciate your understanding, cooperation and patience, as these decisions and changes will disrupt normal life. We encourage you to join us in prayer for the healing of the sick and those who care for them, the effective cure of the disease and the return to full life and work on our campus and around the world.

Sincerely,

Dr. Deana L. Porterfield

What is happening with classes?

Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, all face-to-face classes will take place via virtual delivery for the remainder of the semester. Summer 2020 classes will all be offered online only. The Seminary will communicate directly with students through the student email and campus intranet. If your field education placement is affected, please contact Fred Johnson. While the disruption in the semester will be challenging, the College and Seminary will work with all students to support the completion of their academic work.

All campus services remain available virtually. If you are looking for resources such as the Learning Center, Golisano Library, ITS, Financial Aid, Registration, and Career Services, please contact those offices directly.

While the disruption in the semester will be challenging, the College and Seminary will work with all students to support the completion of their academic work.

How do I register for classes? 

Given the significant changes we are facing as a community, we have decided to delay course registration. Returning students will be able to register for courses beginning on 4/13/2020 and new students on 4/20/2020.

Returning and new students will be provided directly with registration instructions, check sheets, and updated course schedules.

What is happening with events?

Effective March 13, 2020, and until further notice, Seminary and College related gatherings or meetings will continue through virtual delivery or be postponed or canceled. Check our website for cancellations. 

The May 2020 commencement ceremony will be postponed and included with the May 2021 celebration. The Seminary will continue to confer degrees three times a year: on the last Saturday in May, August, and December.

What campus buildings are closed?

Effective March 20, 2020, all campus facilities are closed in accordance with New York State guidance, unless an approved residential student or on the registry of essential employees. Call 585-594-6000 to be connected to the department you would like to speak to or to make plans to connect virtually.

Library services will still be available virtually.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Concerns