About USEK

Spring Semester Academic Updates

This question and answer (Q&A) section highlights the main academic issues which you might be concerned about during the 2020 – 2021 Spring Semester. It serves as a set of instructions aimed at answering the points that might be causing you confusion during distance learning, financial concerns, exams, graduation, etc.

This document does not cover all the questions that you might have in mind; therefore, if you have any inquiry or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us at supportcenter@usek.edu.lb, so we can answer your question and help us further develop and enrich the section.

Distance Learning
1. Is the Spring Semester online or on-campus?
The current semester is blended. Most courses are online, but some might require on-campus attendance. Your instructor will notify you ahead of time (via E-Learning, Microsoft Teams, USEK e-mail or Mobile App) whether campus attendance is required or not once the lockdown is over and in compliance with the decision of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Rest assured that USEK is taking all necessary safety measures to ensure you are safe on campus.

2. What are the technical requirements I need to be successfully involved in for distance learning?
Technical requirements vary from an online course to another, but you need at least a high-speed Internet connection, a computer capable of running the Learning Management System (Moodle) and specified online learning software (such as Microsoft Teams). Courses using web-conferencing software require mainly microphones, and in particular cases webcams.

3. What if I meet the requirements but have limited access to my courses?
You learn at your own pace online. Although synchronous sessions are conducted, they are recorded, and their related links are made available. As for the other types of learning activities, they are posted on Moodle and you can access them anytime.

Regarding the assessment activities, they are announced ahead of time so that you can manage your access accordingly. In case the timing is not suitable, you should inform your instructor immediately so that he/she can reschedule the assessment.

4. Are my instructors taking into consideration these issues while developing online learning and assessment activities?
Instructors know that not all their students meet the above-mentioned requirements; they also know about the internet connectivity issues as they are dealing with them too and are designing their courses accordingly.

Please trust that USEK’s administration, instructors and staff are doing their best to provide you with the needed support during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, as your interests are our main goal.

5. What if a learning or assessment activity requires a specific computer or software that I do not have?
Inform your instructor about your case for him/her to provide you with an alternative way to undertake the activity.

6. What if I have technological difficulties?
You may contact the IT Office by sending an email to servicedesk@usek.edu.lb.

7. How will the lab courses, studio-based courses, clinical courses, internships, senior projects, and other types of courses be delivered and graded?
Instructors, with the support of the USEK Learning and Teaching Excellence Center (LTEC), are working on developing innovative methods of delivering lab, studio, clinical and other hands-on classes. While successfully adopted in some courses, others still require face-to-face teaching.

8. Is attendance mandatory and graded in online sessions?
Attendance is not mandatory but continuous student feedback is essential, and your active participation in the activities and assessments will be graded.

9. Will the P/R grading system be applied during the Spring Semester?
No. Similar to last semester, the P/R grading system won’t be applied.

10. What should I do in case I have doubts regarding my final grade?
A Grade Review should be submitted through this link within the pre-set deadline (available on the Academic Calendar).

N.B.: a grade review is not a petition, but a request to re-examine the final of a course that should be submitted online or at the Registrar Office. If the request is approved, you will check the modified grade on your Banner account. If the request is rejected, the process fees will be automatically charged to your account.

11. Does Respondus Lockdown Browser damage my laptop or invade my privacy?
Be confident that the system is fully secure and does not affect your privacy.
However, please note that the software is not designed to be used as a regular browser on your computers and laptops. After the download is completed, you should not open it.

12. What should I do in case I face a problem with Respondus during my final exam?
If you face any problem with Respondus during your final, you are required to contact your instructor immediately to fix the issue.

N.B. A trial session will be done by your instructor prior to the final exam.

13. Is it obligatory to have the final exam on Respondus?

Each instructor is free to choose any method for his/her final exam. Respondus is optional for the instructor.
Financial aid and tuition payment
1. I am facing unexpected financial hardships because of COVID-19. Are there any resources available to help me?
You may contact the Financial Aid Office and ask about the possibility of spreading and/or postponing your tuition payment (socialservice@usek.edu.lb).

2. What is the current LBP/USD rate at USEK?
USEK is adopting the official LBP rate: 1$ = 1515LBP. You may settle your tuition fees at any of the following banks: Bank of Beirut, Byblos Bank, Audi Bank and BLOM Bank. You can also settle your tuition fees online (without commission) by clicking here.

3.How are the tuition fees spread throughout the semester?
The remaining amount of your tuition fees is spread over 3 payments throughout the semester. We invite you to regularly check the academic calendar and mobile app regarding the payment deadline.

4. If I have outstanding balance remaining from the previous semester, can I register for the upcoming one?
You may contact the Financial Aid Office and ask about the possibility of spreading and/or postponing your payments (socialservice@usek.edu.lb)

5. What are the current payment methods?
We kindly ask you to refer to one of the below payment methods to be able to settle your tuition fees:
  • Online payment in LBP (no additional charges or commission): Go to USEK website > quick links > Online Tuition payment > login with your ID and password > pay using your credit/ debit card
  • Through USEK Mobile App > second tab of the app > Amount Due
  • If you have online bank accounts at any of the following banks, you can settle via the mobile app of BOB, BLOM or Byblos (this service is not available at AUDI yet):
    - To pay through BOB mobile app: download the app > Payments > University Tuition Payment > USEK > login with your ID and password
    - To pay through Byblos mobile app: download the app > Payments > Tuition Payment > USEK > login with your ID and password
    - To pay through BLOM mobile app: download the app > Bills & Payments > Institution fees > USEK > login with your ID and password
  • Through the Smart ATM: A ‘cardless operation’ where you can insert cash in the tray of the ATM machine
    - Please call the customer service of the bank (BOB, BLOM, Byblos, AUDI) and ask for the closest smart ATM in your area and instructions on how to use this option
    - Please keep your receipt
1. Is there support available for students experiencing stress or anxiety as a result of the coronavirus outbreak?
The University continuously seeks to ensure the well-being of all its students. You can schedule remote counseling support services with the University Counseling Center (UCC) by sending an email to ucc@usek.edu.lb

2. What precautions is USEK taking to protect the community against Covid-19?
The University Council and the Crisis Management Committee are meeting regularly to oversee and monitor the situation while closely coordinating with the Ministry of Public Health and following the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

i. Access is limited to the main gate.
ii. Sanitizer dispensers have been placed across the campus along with the necessary signage.
iii. Temperature checks, mandatory face masks monitoring, and social distancing measures are in effect across campus.

3. If I am tested positive for Coronavirus, how should I inform the University, and how can I catch up on any missed online sessions?
As stated in the COVID-19 pledge you digitally signed, you are required to fill out the workflow here if you’ve tested positive or have been in contact with someone who is/was positive. You will be able to continue your studies at your own pace, as all lessons and presentations are shared and recorded on Microsoft Teams.

What are the prevention measures for when classes are on-campus?
Classes that require on-campus attendance are scheduled in large classrooms, with 50% capacity. Physical distancing is enforced, and the instructor has the right to ask students to leave if they are not wearing their face masks properly.

5. I have a specific health condition. What kind of support is offered by the university?
USEK is committed to build a diverse and inclusive community. If you are a student/candidate with a disability or health problem, Please contact us at dpstudents@usek.edu.lb and provide us with the necessary details which allow us to offer you the required support services you need.

6. How can I get in touch with my advisor?
You may get in touch with your advisor by:
- Sending them an email;
- Calling them at the office;
- Sending a message over Microsoft Teams;

To find out who your advisor is, please click here. Keep in mind that your advisor is also an instructor who might be delivering a course. Please allow 24 to 48 hours for them to get back to you.

7. How can I request official documents from the Registrar’s Office?
To order any document or administrative request (Change of program, withdraw,etc.), please send an email to registrar@usek.edu.lb mentioning your ID number and the type of request.

8. How can I submit a petition online?
To submit your petition, please click here and follow the instructions.

9. Who can I contact in case I am not sure which office can assist me?
Kindly refer to the newly created Student Support Center (supportcenter@usek.edu.lb) and your request will be processed accordingly.
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
Tel.: (+961) 9 600 000
Fax : (+961) 9 600 100
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