July 8, 2020

At Ball State University, we value our international students as members of a diverse, inclusive community.

On July 6, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced that students holding F-1 and M-1 visas attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. We are monitoring this situation closely, and we are assessing the impact these changes may have on our students.

As you might already know, on-campus classes will start August 24 as scheduled, and we are very much looking forward to seeing all of our students. Our top priority is to ensure our students have an excellent education in a safe living and learning environment. To meet that goal, we are modifying how we conduct classes.

We will deliver courses, through all majors and programs, in various modalities. Those modalities range from on-campus interactions with modified seating, to hybrid personalized instruction with alternate activities and attendance rotations, to online courses. Our faculty, staff, and administrators have worked diligently to smooth the transition to “a new college experience” with academic excellence and safety at its core. We will be working with students to make sure their schedules reflect this approach.

The Rinker Center for International Programs is communicating with international students about what they need to do. The center is advising academic F-1 students to enroll in face-to-face or hybrid classes as much as possible, although more than one online/distance class can make up part of a full course load. The center is also checking with the federal government on whether the change to all online instruction for the last three weeks of the fall semester will affect students. The center will update students as information becomes available.

As a University committed to inclusive excellence, we will continue to do all we can to support our students and provide them with the Ball State experience and culture, where our students and faculty are learning partners from day one.