Updates Archive

February 10, 2021

Randomized COVID-19 Sampling Testing

In an ongoing effort to keep our campus safe, the University will implement new Randomized COVID-19 Sampling Testing for all students, faculty, and staff beginning February 15.

Since June of 2020 when testing became available, the University has provided more than 2,400 free COVID-19 tests to our campus community. As a result of everyone’s diligence and responsible actions, our campus has been successful at keeping active cases low in number with very limited adverse impact on the campus. But it is critical that we do not let our guard down.

It is very important for the well-being of your classmates and colleagues that you participate in this new testing effort. This new strategy for ongoing, free testing aims to proactively mitigate risk by identifying potentially asymptomatic individuals, who might otherwise unknowingly spread the virus. It includes:

  • Weekly, a group of students and employees will be randomly selected to provide an appropriate sample size to assess risk levels.
  • Selection will be done randomly within residency groups for students (e.g. Thompson Hall, Campus Village, Greek housing, commuters, etc) and working groups for employees (e.g. University Advancement, Student Life, Custodial Services, etc).
  • Those selected for testing will be notified via email (Wellness Center will contact students and HR Office will contact employees) later in a given week to schedule testing for early the following week.
  • Testing for both students and employees will be conducted on campus by Wellness Center staff or Helix Diagnostics.
  • Testing results will be provided to students by the Wellness Center and to employees by the HR Office, normally within two to three days.
  • There will be no impact on access to the campus for those selected for testing, unless of course there is a positive test result for a given individual that requires further action and contact tracing.

Please note: This new, additional testing will not replace existing required testing to be on campus for individuals who are symptomatic, have been identified via contact tracing for potential exposure, or who have traveled to an area with positivity rate above 10% as defined by the University’s travel policy in the Safe Campus 2021 guidelines.

Spring Term Testing Dates

For the upcoming Spring Term, all students and employees who will be on campus will be required to be tested during the period of April 1-5 and have a negative test result before being granted access to the campus. Further information, including links to schedule an appointment, will be communicated in the coming weeks.

If you have questions, email welcomebackbulldogs@kettering.edu.

December 23, 2020

Safe Campus 2021: Important Testing Information, Guidelines Online

Topics in this Update:

  • Required COVID-19 Testing Details
  • Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines Online

Required COVID-19 Testing Details for Winter Term

All residential and non-residential students, faculty and staff that will be on campus during Winter Term will be required to be tested on campus through Helix Diagnostics with a negative test result. The University will offer free, scheduled testing on campus through Helix Diagnostics prior to the start of Winter Term during the first week of January.

All testing will take place within the Campus Center. 

Employee testing will be January 4 and January 7. Human Resources will be sending an email directly to employees with a link to schedule an appointment. It is important for employees to arrange schedules to get tested during these assigned dates.

  • January 4 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Abbey) – Testing only for employees designated by their respective vice president who must be working closely with students on opening weekend or perform other essential duties on campus the first week of January. 
  • January 7 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Abbey) – Testing only for employees (faculty and staff). 

Student testing will be January 8-11. Appointments will be available every 3 minutes and can be scheduled online. Some limited times will be available for employees who are unable to get tested earlier in the week.

  • January 8 and January 11 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center Abbey) – Testing for students not residing in Thompson Hall with limited times for employees unable to attend testing earlier in the week.
  • January 9-10 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center d.space across from the Welcome Center) Testing for students not residing in Thompson Hall and limited times for employees unable to attend testing earlier in the week. 
  • January 9-10 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Abbey) – Testing for Thompson Hall residents only. 

The University will not be offering COVID-19 testing on campus during the holiday break from December 24 to January 3.

For those seeking additional testing before or during the holiday break, there are many locations available within our community to be tested. Many of these do not require a doctor’s order, and/or may be obtained at no cost. These may be searched at the links below:

  • Testing locations in and around Flint at Michigan.gov
  • Genesee County COVID-19 page for local updates, information and resources.

December 18, 2020

Topics in this Update

  • Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines Published
  • Required COVID-19 Testing Prior to Winter Term Start
  • Plan to Self Quarantine For a Week Before You Arrive On Campus
  • Stay Updated During the Holidays

The University’s Winter Term will begin in January with students on campus and operations in place as normally as possible, as stated in the President’s recent email to the campus community.

Under Section 5(c) of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services revised order announced today, universities and colleges are no longer restricted from holding in-person classes and other events sponsored by the educational institution. The complete order can be read on Michigan.gov.

The University will operate on an “exceptions model,” with activities and facilities open and permitted subject to our ability to maintain safe practices with respect to masks, hygiene, distance, and density – and only closed or cancelled in identified situations where doing so is impractical or impossible. To read the full letter, check your email or go to kettering.edu/covid-19/updates-archive.

Below are important updates and details for the coming weeks.

Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines 

In response to feedback from students, faculty and staff and with our six-month history of two terms already back on campus, we have revised the former Playbook for our Safe Return to now be a topic-driven, quickly searchable Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines reference. 

The new Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines includes the sections: Testing & Health Services, Safety Measures, Academics & Co-op, Student Life, Facilities and Visiting Campus. It will be posted on the University website before the holiday break.

Required COVID-19 Testing Prior to Winter Term Start 

All residential and non-residential students, faculty and staff that will be on campus during Winter Term will be required to be tested with a negative test result. The University will offer free, scheduled testing through Helix prior to the start of Winter Term.

More information on specific times, location and the link to schedule your appointment will be sent via email prior to the University’s holiday break starting December 24. For planning purposes, please note the following dates:

  • January 4 – Testing for employees who must be working closely with students on opening weekend or perform other essential duties on campus this week. These individuals have been designated by their respective vice president and will be contacted directly by email with a link to schedule an appointment.
  • January 7 - Testing for employees (faculty and staff). 
  • January 8-11 – Testing for students not residing in Thompson Hall and employees unable to attend testing on January 7.
  • January 9-10 – Testing for Thompson Hall residents during move-in. (Note: details specific to the move-in process have been emailed directly to those students Anyone with further questions related to Thompson Hall, including waiver requirements, should email reslife@kettering.edu).

For those seeking additional testing not offered by the University prior to the holidays, there are many locations within our community other than on-campus where students or employees may be tested, however, and many do not require a doctor’s order, and/or may be obtained at no cost. These may be searched at the links below:

  • Testing locations in and around Flint at Michigan.gov
  • Genesee County COVID-19 page for local updates, information and resources.

IMPORTANT: Plan to Self Quarantine For a Week Before You Arrive On Campus

For the safety of our campus, all incoming students and employees should practice enhanced social distancing and voluntarily self-quarantine for one week prior to arrival on campus. 

This is with the understanding that in addition to potential holiday travel, people will be traveling to campus from locations around the state, country and in some cases, globally. Students or employees who have traveled internationally or those arriving from states with more than 10% COVID-19 positive testing rate on a seven-day rolling average, are required to self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days before arriving on campus. You should use the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center through its website link “Testing Trends Tool” to determine the status of the state from which you will be traveling. 

While in self-quarantine you should:

  • Limit the number of people you are around – in particular, from different households. Best thing to do is stay home.
  • Monitor your health for any symptoms of COVID COVID-19 as defined by the Center for Disease Control including fever, cough, trouble breathing or other symptoms.  Full list of symptoms can be found here.
  • Self-report and seek medical attention immediately if symptomatic.
  • Wear a face mask at all times when in public.
  • Maintain six feet of distance from others when outside. 
  • Avoid gatherings outside of your home.

Stay Safe, Stay Updated During the Holidays

Please note that the University will be closed during the holiday break from Dec. 24 to Jan. 4. If you need medical assistance during this period, please contact your local health provider.

The situation in Michigan remains fluid and may change over the holidays. We therefore strongly encourage everyone in the Kettering community to stay informed during the break and check the Kettering COVID-19 website regularly to receive updates and the most current information on our plans for the Winter Term.

This includes:

  • Check your emails occasionally during the holidays in case there are updates from the state or University. 
  • Review the COVID-19 section of the University’s website. All updates, including these emails and reported cases, are posted there.
  • Sign up for Kettering Alerts.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has offered guidance on students returning home for the holidays, you can find it at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

December 11, 2020

From the Office of the President

I hope this finds you and yours well, safe, and healthy. 

This letter describes our overall plans for winter term 2021. More details on each item outlined below will be forthcoming from various offices of the University over the next few weeks, so please look for these in your email and on official University social media sites. 

Before I begin, I would like to take an opportunity to thank our staff, faculty, and students for their diligence in observing our COVID-19 precautions on campus this year, as well as their flexibility and creativity in the face of the many challenges presented by the pandemic. You have demonstrated through your actions and resolve the best of what it means to be Kettering Built.

We now have a six-month, very successful operating history during the pandemic. We have experience in navigating both its peaks and lulls, and the COVID-19 Response Team and I are very confident that we will be able to operate with similar success through the winter term and beyond. Indeed, this month the tide is even shifting in the fight against the virus more broadly as we are seeing the first distributions of vaccines in our country, which I know is a comfort to all of us.

We are committed to providing our students with a robust on-campus educational experience. This includes not only the face-to-face provision of classes, but also making available to students as many as possible of the extracurricular opportunities that make a Kettering University education so special. Whether it is in the classrooms, the SAE and AutoDrive garages, a KSG meeting, or the BattleBots studio, bringing people together is part of the Kettering experience - indeed it is even the principal driver of our design of our new Learning Commons, which is now rising in the center of our campus.

Assuming government authorities permit the reopening of our University by our January 11, 2021 start date, we intend to have all students on campus in typical numbers this winter term and to operate as normally as possible.  We will operate on an “exceptions model,” that is to say activities and facilities will be assumed open and permitted subject to our ability to maintain safe practices with respect to masks, hygiene, distance, and density - and only closed or cancelled in identified situations where doing so is impractical or impossible. 

In doing so, however, we will not relax our vigilance or the overall measures we take to ensure the health of our community. We will continue to prohibit gatherings above a specified size, to limit visitors to and travel away from campus, to require the use of face coverings and other protective equipment, to limit building entrance points, to require health self-certification, and to deep clean our facilities, etc. But we will work to open as much of the campus as possible to our students, as well as to support as many extracurricular activities as possible.

We are committed to managing aggressively and creatively any obstacles or problems that may present themselves, recognizing that we all have roles to play - and responsibilities - to ensure the health of the Kettering community.

In winter, a majority of classes will be offered face-to-face with a hybrid option. A limited number will only be virtual, but the majority will be delivered live, in-person, by a professor. Based on current registrations, greater than 98% of students will have at least one face-to-face course, most will have many more than that. The library and many other functional spaces will again open regularly. We will be honoring the requirement that all first-year students reside on campus, once again bringing Thompson Hall fully to life. 

We will continue to protect the most vulnerable members of our community by permitting or requiring them to work remotely.  We will test robustly during the term.  Those who test positive will be quarantined and tested recurrently. Direct contacts of those who test positive will be asked to self-quarantine for the CDC recommended period, checked regularly for symptoms, and tested as appropriate. 

Students will continue to be able to opt to attend classes virtually, but in the absence of specific health exceptions, they will be strongly encouraged to attend all face-to-face lectures available to them and to move back to the classroom. This is important for them and for creating the kind of vibrant classroom exchange from which both they and their classmates (and their professor) benefit.

Different for winter term, and because of the dispersal of the campus population over the holidays, all members of the campus community will be pre-tested for infection before classes begin on January 11. This includes all students intending to reside in off-campus or Greek-affiliated housing. More information on this testing requirement including our testing schedule prior to the beginning of the term will be forthcoming in future communications. 

We intend to employ every measure we can to manage the challenge that COVID-19 presents us with emphasizing both the safety of the Kettering community, as well as providing the richest possible educational experience for our students. How we responded as a community was the one central factor in our success in protecting all of us at Kettering over the past two terms.  Winter term 2021 will present us with a no less challenging set of circumstances, but with your dedication to the safety of your friends, peers, colleagues, and everyone in the Kettering community, I know we will once again be successful.

A-Section, see you on campus in January!

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Warmest Regards,

Dr. Robert K. McMahan

President and Professor of Physics

 

December 9, 2020

From the Office of the Provost

During the past nine months, the University has invested in many state-of-the-art technologies to provide the best learning experience it can to the students during this unprecedented time. These technologies improve many aspects of a student’s learning experiences: from course delivery, to securely access course materials, to the assessment of learning outcomes. As virtual learning continues, the University is committed to further explore and exploit the latest technologies available with a goal to further improve the educational quality it delivers to the students in this environment. This includes the alternatives to in-classroom proctored testing.  

Federal regulations (Department of Education) and accreditors (Higher Learning Commission) have required colleges and universities to meaningfully assess student performance, and in online and distance education, online proctoring has been used as one of the standard tools to meet these regulatory and accreditation requirements. At Kettering University, Kettering University Online (KUO) has deployed online proctoring services for the past five years and has accumulated valuable experiences of how to effectively use these services to meet the assessment requirements without compromising student privacy. In today’s virtual learning environment where in-classroom proctored testing is not always possible, we are required to provide this type of alternative proctoring method to our faculty to maintain compliance with federal regulations and accreditation requirements.

After several months of careful evaluation and comparison of available online proctoring services, I, in consultation with Academic Affairs, IT and KUO leadership, chose Honorlock, an online proctoring service, as an alternative to in-classroom proctored testing. This tool will be made available as an optional proctoring means to all instructors, effective Winter term, 2021. Its use is optional and at the discretion of the individual faculty member.

We fully understand some students may have concerns about the use of Honorlock at Kettering. However, many of the concerns raised do not accurately reflect the true operation of this service as it will be implemented at our University. Students should be aware of the following:

  1. Kettering has a long-standing Acceptable Use Policy (https://my.kettering.edu/page/acceptable-use-policy) that is aimed at protecting all Kettering employees and students. This policy prohibits unauthorized use of any Kettering constituent data and supersedes any 3rd party vendor agreement, including Honorlock’s general terms of service. Our implementation of this service is bound by our Acceptable Use Policy. 
  2. The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) binds Honorlock to only collect, process, and store student information for their services and prohibits Honorlock to sell or transfer the collected information for any other purposes. Furthermore, Honorlock only collects data that verifies a student’s identity and complies with FERPA requirements. 
  3. Honorlock is only active when proctoring a University exam, and only when the exam session is active. To add additional protection for students, Kettering will provision this service through Blackboard only, our secure LMS (Learning Management Systems). This means that the Honorlock extension is only active when you are in the exam on Blackboard. 
  4. Honorlock acts through an extension within the Chrome browser, it only has access to the limited operations provided by the browser and does not have access to any other information on your computer. The Honorlock extension may be deleted after the exam is complete.
  5. Honorlock does not otherwise access or control the host computer, mobile device, or any devices connected to the same network as the host computer, nor does it scan the network
  6. Honorlock does not gather person-specific information such as facial recognition. It only detects unusual activities in an exam environment. For example, multiple people in a room, voices from multiple persons, etc. All data collected by Honorlock are encrypted and stored securely.
  7. Honorlock does not decide whether or not an academic misconduct occurred. When it detects unusual activities in an exam setting, it generates a flag to alert the instructor, who will review the situation to make a final determination.

Attached is an FAQ that addresses many other questions regarding Honorlock’s privacy and security. Any questions may be submitted to my office at provost@kettering.edu.

Warmest regards,
Dr. James Z. Zhang
Provost

Frequently Asked Questions

Why and when is online proctoring necessary?

Federal regulations require colleges offering online and distance education to verify student identity. To comply with federal regulations, proctored testing are used to ensure the academic integrity of assessments. 

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, many courses are delivered virtually to ensure the safety of our students and employees. Even though instructors may use a variety of alternate assessment strategies, they may also rely on online proctoring to ensure the security of tests offered to in virtual environment. Online proctoring helps prevent academic honor violations such as:

  • Use of a false identity,
  • Unauthorized collaboration,
  • Use of unauthorized materials, and
  • Copying or distributing test items to others.

Are instructors required to use Honorlock?

No. Instructors may choose to use a variety of assessment methods that do not include online proctoring. However, when the nature of the course or instruction makes online proctoring a necessity, your instructor may choose Honorlock as an option to ensure the academic integrity of your test.

Does Honorlock sell my data or monetize my data to third parties outside of my school or university?
No. Honorlock will never sell or monetize your data. Honolock only shares your data with your educational institution.

What data does Honorlock collect from students using the service?

  1. Student information (i.e. student name, course number, exam name.) This information is synced with the information in Kettering University’s LMS, Blackboard to verify the student’s identity.
  2. During the exam, Honorlock collects a webcam video recording that includes desktop activity and audio recording.
  3. Exam and web pages visited by a student during an examination.

How long does Honorlock keep my data?
Honorlock retains data for a period of 12 months. Student data is deleted after the 12-month retention period. Only a request by Kettering University will extend the retention period if the University is investigating a case of academic integrity.

Does Honorlock have control of my computer or my mobile phone?

  1. No. Honorlock uses a Chrome browser extension that uses AI to detect the presence of faces in your camera and different voices. Honorlock does not have the ability to control your computer, read your passwords or download any files at any point in time.
  2. Honorlock does not have access or the ability to control secondary devices such as mobile phones.

Is Honorlock tracking my online activities and watching me when I am not taking an exam?
No. Honorlock is only proctoring the University’s examinations via the Chrome browser extension. You are free to delete the Chrome browser extension immediately following an exam. However, the extension will not track any activity or record any data unless you are taking an exam and logged into Kettering University’s Blackboard.

Where is my data stored and how well is my data protected?
All data in transit and data at rest is encrypted and stored within Honorlock’s private cloud in an Amazon (AWS) data center in the US. Amazon’s data centers are SOC 2 Type 1, U.S. Privacy Shield and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant.

Does Honorlock use facial recognition to verify my identity?
No. Honorlock uses facial detection, which only detects that there is a clear human face in the webcam. Honorlock does not identify the face, store any of the facial elements, or match the face to a database. If no face is detected, or if multiple faces are detected, AI will flag the incident and a human proctor may intervene.

Is it true that Honorlock scans home networks and monitors data from any device connected to that network?

No. Honorlock does not scan home networks or monitor data from any device on the network other than the one used for testing. 

Who monitors the test, Artificial Intelligence (AI) or live proctors? Who reviews the flags?

The AI automatically generates a flag if unusual activity is detected, such more than one person’s voice is detected. There is no live person watching the student during the entirety of the exam. For some courses, a live "pop-in" proctor may join the proctoring session if any suspected academic integrity issues arise. Once addressed, the proctor will leave the session. Once an exam session is completed, instructors are able to review flagged recordings to determine if a cheating incident may have occurred.

Webcam and audio analysis has certain AI capabilities built in, such as detecting the presence of zero, one, or more faces in the camera, one or more voices, etc. This AI will generate a “flag,” prompting the instructor to review the exam session to determine if additional action is necessary to remediate any academic integrity issues.

Does Honorlock have the capability to monitor the use of my smartphone during an examination session?

Students using their smartphones to search online resources for test questions should note Honorlock utilizes a manual technology to detect academic integrity issues. Specifically, Honorlock hosts websites with seeded test questions that, when accessed during an examination session, sets off an action on the phone. This action is picked up during the student’s session and alerts instructors to review for academic integrity issues. Honorlock does not initiate any technologies to eavesdrop on the student’s smartphone activity either during or after an examination session.

It is important for students to understand they are not authorized to use their phones during an Honorlock proctored examination.

 

  • February 10, 2021

    February 10, 2021

    Randomized COVID-19 Sampling Testing

    In an ongoing effort to keep our campus safe, the University will implement new Randomized COVID-19 Sampling Testing for all students, faculty, and staff beginning February 15.

    Since June of 2020 when testing became available, the University has provided more than 2,400 free COVID-19 tests to our campus community. As a result of everyone’s diligence and responsible actions, our campus has been successful at keeping active cases low in number with very limited adverse impact on the campus. But it is critical that we do not let our guard down.

    It is very important for the well-being of your classmates and colleagues that you participate in this new testing effort. This new strategy for ongoing, free testing aims to proactively mitigate risk by identifying potentially asymptomatic individuals, who might otherwise unknowingly spread the virus. It includes:

    • Weekly, a group of students and employees will be randomly selected to provide an appropriate sample size to assess risk levels.
    • Selection will be done randomly within residency groups for students (e.g. Thompson Hall, Campus Village, Greek housing, commuters, etc) and working groups for employees (e.g. University Advancement, Student Life, Custodial Services, etc).
    • Those selected for testing will be notified via email (Wellness Center will contact students and HR Office will contact employees) later in a given week to schedule testing for early the following week.
    • Testing for both students and employees will be conducted on campus by Wellness Center staff or Helix Diagnostics.
    • Testing results will be provided to students by the Wellness Center and to employees by the HR Office, normally within two to three days.
    • There will be no impact on access to the campus for those selected for testing, unless of course there is a positive test result for a given individual that requires further action and contact tracing.

    Please note: This new, additional testing will not replace existing required testing to be on campus for individuals who are symptomatic, have been identified via contact tracing for potential exposure, or who have traveled to an area with positivity rate above 10% as defined by the University’s travel policy in the Safe Campus 2021 guidelines.

    Spring Term Testing Dates

    For the upcoming Spring Term, all students and employees who will be on campus will be required to be tested during the period of April 1-5 and have a negative test result before being granted access to the campus. Further information, including links to schedule an appointment, will be communicated in the coming weeks.

    If you have questions, email welcomebackbulldogs@kettering.edu.

  • December 23, 2020

    December 23, 2020

    Safe Campus 2021: Important Testing Information, Guidelines Online

    Topics in this Update:

    • Required COVID-19 Testing Details
    • Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines Online

    Required COVID-19 Testing Details for Winter Term

    All residential and non-residential students, faculty and staff that will be on campus during Winter Term will be required to be tested on campus through Helix Diagnostics with a negative test result. The University will offer free, scheduled testing on campus through Helix Diagnostics prior to the start of Winter Term during the first week of January.

    All testing will take place within the Campus Center. 

    Employee testing will be January 4 and January 7. Human Resources will be sending an email directly to employees with a link to schedule an appointment. It is important for employees to arrange schedules to get tested during these assigned dates.

    • January 4 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Abbey) – Testing only for employees designated by their respective vice president who must be working closely with students on opening weekend or perform other essential duties on campus the first week of January. 
    • January 7 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Abbey) – Testing only for employees (faculty and staff). 

    Student testing will be January 8-11. Appointments will be available every 3 minutes and can be scheduled online. Some limited times will be available for employees who are unable to get tested earlier in the week.

    • January 8 and January 11 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center Abbey) – Testing for students not residing in Thompson Hall with limited times for employees unable to attend testing earlier in the week.
    • January 9-10 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center d.space across from the Welcome Center) Testing for students not residing in Thompson Hall and limited times for employees unable to attend testing earlier in the week. 
    • January 9-10 (9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Abbey) – Testing for Thompson Hall residents only. 

    The University will not be offering COVID-19 testing on campus during the holiday break from December 24 to January 3.

    For those seeking additional testing before or during the holiday break, there are many locations available within our community to be tested. Many of these do not require a doctor’s order, and/or may be obtained at no cost. These may be searched at the links below:

    • Testing locations in and around Flint at Michigan.gov
    • Genesee County COVID-19 page for local updates, information and resources.
  • December 18, 2020

    December 18, 2020

    Topics in this Update

    • Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines Published
    • Required COVID-19 Testing Prior to Winter Term Start
    • Plan to Self Quarantine For a Week Before You Arrive On Campus
    • Stay Updated During the Holidays

    The University’s Winter Term will begin in January with students on campus and operations in place as normally as possible, as stated in the President’s recent email to the campus community.

    Under Section 5(c) of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services revised order announced today, universities and colleges are no longer restricted from holding in-person classes and other events sponsored by the educational institution. The complete order can be read on Michigan.gov.

    The University will operate on an “exceptions model,” with activities and facilities open and permitted subject to our ability to maintain safe practices with respect to masks, hygiene, distance, and density – and only closed or cancelled in identified situations where doing so is impractical or impossible. To read the full letter, check your email or go to kettering.edu/covid-19/updates-archive.

    Below are important updates and details for the coming weeks.

    Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines 

    In response to feedback from students, faculty and staff and with our six-month history of two terms already back on campus, we have revised the former Playbook for our Safe Return to now be a topic-driven, quickly searchable Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines reference. 

    The new Safe Campus 2021 Guidelines includes the sections: Testing & Health Services, Safety Measures, Academics & Co-op, Student Life, Facilities and Visiting Campus. It will be posted on the University website before the holiday break.

    Required COVID-19 Testing Prior to Winter Term Start 

    All residential and non-residential students, faculty and staff that will be on campus during Winter Term will be required to be tested with a negative test result. The University will offer free, scheduled testing through Helix prior to the start of Winter Term.

    More information on specific times, location and the link to schedule your appointment will be sent via email prior to the University’s holiday break starting December 24. For planning purposes, please note the following dates:

    • January 4 – Testing for employees who must be working closely with students on opening weekend or perform other essential duties on campus this week. These individuals have been designated by their respective vice president and will be contacted directly by email with a link to schedule an appointment.
    • January 7 - Testing for employees (faculty and staff). 
    • January 8-11 – Testing for students not residing in Thompson Hall and employees unable to attend testing on January 7.
    • January 9-10 – Testing for Thompson Hall residents during move-in. (Note: details specific to the move-in process have been emailed directly to those students Anyone with further questions related to Thompson Hall, including waiver requirements, should email reslife@kettering.edu).

    For those seeking additional testing not offered by the University prior to the holidays, there are many locations within our community other than on-campus where students or employees may be tested, however, and many do not require a doctor’s order, and/or may be obtained at no cost. These may be searched at the links below:

    • Testing locations in and around Flint at Michigan.gov
    • Genesee County COVID-19 page for local updates, information and resources.

    IMPORTANT: Plan to Self Quarantine For a Week Before You Arrive On Campus

    For the safety of our campus, all incoming students and employees should practice enhanced social distancing and voluntarily self-quarantine for one week prior to arrival on campus. 

    This is with the understanding that in addition to potential holiday travel, people will be traveling to campus from locations around the state, country and in some cases, globally. Students or employees who have traveled internationally or those arriving from states with more than 10% COVID-19 positive testing rate on a seven-day rolling average, are required to self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days before arriving on campus. You should use the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center through its website link “Testing Trends Tool” to determine the status of the state from which you will be traveling. 

    While in self-quarantine you should:

    • Limit the number of people you are around – in particular, from different households. Best thing to do is stay home.
    • Monitor your health for any symptoms of COVID COVID-19 as defined by the Center for Disease Control including fever, cough, trouble breathing or other symptoms.  Full list of symptoms can be found here.
    • Self-report and seek medical attention immediately if symptomatic.
    • Wear a face mask at all times when in public.
    • Maintain six feet of distance from others when outside. 
    • Avoid gatherings outside of your home.

    Stay Safe, Stay Updated During the Holidays

    Please note that the University will be closed during the holiday break from Dec. 24 to Jan. 4. If you need medical assistance during this period, please contact your local health provider.

    The situation in Michigan remains fluid and may change over the holidays. We therefore strongly encourage everyone in the Kettering community to stay informed during the break and check the Kettering COVID-19 website regularly to receive updates and the most current information on our plans for the Winter Term.

    This includes:

    • Check your emails occasionally during the holidays in case there are updates from the state or University. 
    • Review the COVID-19 section of the University’s website. All updates, including these emails and reported cases, are posted there.
    • Sign up for Kettering Alerts.

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has offered guidance on students returning home for the holidays, you can find it at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

  • December 11, 2020

    December 11, 2020

    From the Office of the President

    I hope this finds you and yours well, safe, and healthy. 

    This letter describes our overall plans for winter term 2021. More details on each item outlined below will be forthcoming from various offices of the University over the next few weeks, so please look for these in your email and on official University social media sites. 

    Before I begin, I would like to take an opportunity to thank our staff, faculty, and students for their diligence in observing our COVID-19 precautions on campus this year, as well as their flexibility and creativity in the face of the many challenges presented by the pandemic. You have demonstrated through your actions and resolve the best of what it means to be Kettering Built.

    We now have a six-month, very successful operating history during the pandemic. We have experience in navigating both its peaks and lulls, and the COVID-19 Response Team and I are very confident that we will be able to operate with similar success through the winter term and beyond. Indeed, this month the tide is even shifting in the fight against the virus more broadly as we are seeing the first distributions of vaccines in our country, which I know is a comfort to all of us.

    We are committed to providing our students with a robust on-campus educational experience. This includes not only the face-to-face provision of classes, but also making available to students as many as possible of the extracurricular opportunities that make a Kettering University education so special. Whether it is in the classrooms, the SAE and AutoDrive garages, a KSG meeting, or the BattleBots studio, bringing people together is part of the Kettering experience - indeed it is even the principal driver of our design of our new Learning Commons, which is now rising in the center of our campus.

    Assuming government authorities permit the reopening of our University by our January 11, 2021 start date, we intend to have all students on campus in typical numbers this winter term and to operate as normally as possible.  We will operate on an “exceptions model,” that is to say activities and facilities will be assumed open and permitted subject to our ability to maintain safe practices with respect to masks, hygiene, distance, and density - and only closed or cancelled in identified situations where doing so is impractical or impossible. 

    In doing so, however, we will not relax our vigilance or the overall measures we take to ensure the health of our community. We will continue to prohibit gatherings above a specified size, to limit visitors to and travel away from campus, to require the use of face coverings and other protective equipment, to limit building entrance points, to require health self-certification, and to deep clean our facilities, etc. But we will work to open as much of the campus as possible to our students, as well as to support as many extracurricular activities as possible.

    We are committed to managing aggressively and creatively any obstacles or problems that may present themselves, recognizing that we all have roles to play - and responsibilities - to ensure the health of the Kettering community.

    In winter, a majority of classes will be offered face-to-face with a hybrid option. A limited number will only be virtual, but the majority will be delivered live, in-person, by a professor. Based on current registrations, greater than 98% of students will have at least one face-to-face course, most will have many more than that. The library and many other functional spaces will again open regularly. We will be honoring the requirement that all first-year students reside on campus, once again bringing Thompson Hall fully to life. 

    We will continue to protect the most vulnerable members of our community by permitting or requiring them to work remotely.  We will test robustly during the term.  Those who test positive will be quarantined and tested recurrently. Direct contacts of those who test positive will be asked to self-quarantine for the CDC recommended period, checked regularly for symptoms, and tested as appropriate. 

    Students will continue to be able to opt to attend classes virtually, but in the absence of specific health exceptions, they will be strongly encouraged to attend all face-to-face lectures available to them and to move back to the classroom. This is important for them and for creating the kind of vibrant classroom exchange from which both they and their classmates (and their professor) benefit.

    Different for winter term, and because of the dispersal of the campus population over the holidays, all members of the campus community will be pre-tested for infection before classes begin on January 11. This includes all students intending to reside in off-campus or Greek-affiliated housing. More information on this testing requirement including our testing schedule prior to the beginning of the term will be forthcoming in future communications. 

    We intend to employ every measure we can to manage the challenge that COVID-19 presents us with emphasizing both the safety of the Kettering community, as well as providing the richest possible educational experience for our students. How we responded as a community was the one central factor in our success in protecting all of us at Kettering over the past two terms.  Winter term 2021 will present us with a no less challenging set of circumstances, but with your dedication to the safety of your friends, peers, colleagues, and everyone in the Kettering community, I know we will once again be successful.

    A-Section, see you on campus in January!

    Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    Warmest Regards,

    Dr. Robert K. McMahan

    President and Professor of Physics

     

  • December 9, 2020

    December 9, 2020

    From the Office of the Provost

    During the past nine months, the University has invested in many state-of-the-art technologies to provide the best learning experience it can to the students during this unprecedented time. These technologies improve many aspects of a student’s learning experiences: from course delivery, to securely access course materials, to the assessment of learning outcomes. As virtual learning continues, the University is committed to further explore and exploit the latest technologies available with a goal to further improve the educational quality it delivers to the students in this environment. This includes the alternatives to in-classroom proctored testing.  

    Federal regulations (Department of Education) and accreditors (Higher Learning Commission) have required colleges and universities to meaningfully assess student performance, and in online and distance education, online proctoring has been used as one of the standard tools to meet these regulatory and accreditation requirements. At Kettering University, Kettering University Online (KUO) has deployed online proctoring services for the past five years and has accumulated valuable experiences of how to effectively use these services to meet the assessment requirements without compromising student privacy. In today’s virtual learning environment where in-classroom proctored testing is not always possible, we are required to provide this type of alternative proctoring method to our faculty to maintain compliance with federal regulations and accreditation requirements.

    After several months of careful evaluation and comparison of available online proctoring services, I, in consultation with Academic Affairs, IT and KUO leadership, chose Honorlock, an online proctoring service, as an alternative to in-classroom proctored testing. This tool will be made available as an optional proctoring means to all instructors, effective Winter term, 2021. Its use is optional and at the discretion of the individual faculty member.

    We fully understand some students may have concerns about the use of Honorlock at Kettering. However, many of the concerns raised do not accurately reflect the true operation of this service as it will be implemented at our University. Students should be aware of the following:

    1. Kettering has a long-standing Acceptable Use Policy (https://my.kettering.edu/page/acceptable-use-policy) that is aimed at protecting all Kettering employees and students. This policy prohibits unauthorized use of any Kettering constituent data and supersedes any 3rd party vendor agreement, including Honorlock’s general terms of service. Our implementation of this service is bound by our Acceptable Use Policy. 
    2. The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) binds Honorlock to only collect, process, and store student information for their services and prohibits Honorlock to sell or transfer the collected information for any other purposes. Furthermore, Honorlock only collects data that verifies a student’s identity and complies with FERPA requirements. 
    3. Honorlock is only active when proctoring a University exam, and only when the exam session is active. To add additional protection for students, Kettering will provision this service through Blackboard only, our secure LMS (Learning Management Systems). This means that the Honorlock extension is only active when you are in the exam on Blackboard. 
    4. Honorlock acts through an extension within the Chrome browser, it only has access to the limited operations provided by the browser and does not have access to any other information on your computer. The Honorlock extension may be deleted after the exam is complete.
    5. Honorlock does not otherwise access or control the host computer, mobile device, or any devices connected to the same network as the host computer, nor does it scan the network
    6. Honorlock does not gather person-specific information such as facial recognition. It only detects unusual activities in an exam environment. For example, multiple people in a room, voices from multiple persons, etc. All data collected by Honorlock are encrypted and stored securely.
    7. Honorlock does not decide whether or not an academic misconduct occurred. When it detects unusual activities in an exam setting, it generates a flag to alert the instructor, who will review the situation to make a final determination.

    Attached is an FAQ that addresses many other questions regarding Honorlock’s privacy and security. Any questions may be submitted to my office at provost@kettering.edu.

    Warmest regards,
    Dr. James Z. Zhang
    Provost

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why and when is online proctoring necessary?

    Federal regulations require colleges offering online and distance education to verify student identity. To comply with federal regulations, proctored testing are used to ensure the academic integrity of assessments. 

    Due to COVID-19 pandemic, many courses are delivered virtually to ensure the safety of our students and employees. Even though instructors may use a variety of alternate assessment strategies, they may also rely on online proctoring to ensure the security of tests offered to in virtual environment. Online proctoring helps prevent academic honor violations such as:

    • Use of a false identity,
    • Unauthorized collaboration,
    • Use of unauthorized materials, and
    • Copying or distributing test items to others.

    Are instructors required to use Honorlock?

    No. Instructors may choose to use a variety of assessment methods that do not include online proctoring. However, when the nature of the course or instruction makes online proctoring a necessity, your instructor may choose Honorlock as an option to ensure the academic integrity of your test.

    Does Honorlock sell my data or monetize my data to third parties outside of my school or university?
    No. Honorlock will never sell or monetize your data. Honolock only shares your data with your educational institution.

    What data does Honorlock collect from students using the service?

    1. Student information (i.e. student name, course number, exam name.) This information is synced with the information in Kettering University’s LMS, Blackboard to verify the student’s identity.
    2. During the exam, Honorlock collects a webcam video recording that includes desktop activity and audio recording.
    3. Exam and web pages visited by a student during an examination.

    How long does Honorlock keep my data?
    Honorlock retains data for a period of 12 months. Student data is deleted after the 12-month retention period. Only a request by Kettering University will extend the retention period if the University is investigating a case of academic integrity.

    Does Honorlock have control of my computer or my mobile phone?

    1. No. Honorlock uses a Chrome browser extension that uses AI to detect the presence of faces in your camera and different voices. Honorlock does not have the ability to control your computer, read your passwords or download any files at any point in time.
    2. Honorlock does not have access or the ability to control secondary devices such as mobile phones.

    Is Honorlock tracking my online activities and watching me when I am not taking an exam?
    No. Honorlock is only proctoring the University’s examinations via the Chrome browser extension. You are free to delete the Chrome browser extension immediately following an exam. However, the extension will not track any activity or record any data unless you are taking an exam and logged into Kettering University’s Blackboard.

    Where is my data stored and how well is my data protected?
    All data in transit and data at rest is encrypted and stored within Honorlock’s private cloud in an Amazon (AWS) data center in the US. Amazon’s data centers are SOC 2 Type 1, U.S. Privacy Shield and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant.

    Does Honorlock use facial recognition to verify my identity?
    No. Honorlock uses facial detection, which only detects that there is a clear human face in the webcam. Honorlock does not identify the face, store any of the facial elements, or match the face to a database. If no face is detected, or if multiple faces are detected, AI will flag the incident and a human proctor may intervene.

    Is it true that Honorlock scans home networks and monitors data from any device connected to that network?

    No. Honorlock does not scan home networks or monitor data from any device on the network other than the one used for testing. 

    Who monitors the test, Artificial Intelligence (AI) or live proctors? Who reviews the flags?

    The AI automatically generates a flag if unusual activity is detected, such more than one person’s voice is detected. There is no live person watching the student during the entirety of the exam. For some courses, a live "pop-in" proctor may join the proctoring session if any suspected academic integrity issues arise. Once addressed, the proctor will leave the session. Once an exam session is completed, instructors are able to review flagged recordings to determine if a cheating incident may have occurred.

    Webcam and audio analysis has certain AI capabilities built in, such as detecting the presence of zero, one, or more faces in the camera, one or more voices, etc. This AI will generate a “flag,” prompting the instructor to review the exam session to determine if additional action is necessary to remediate any academic integrity issues.

    Does Honorlock have the capability to monitor the use of my smartphone during an examination session?

    Students using their smartphones to search online resources for test questions should note Honorlock utilizes a manual technology to detect academic integrity issues. Specifically, Honorlock hosts websites with seeded test questions that, when accessed during an examination session, sets off an action on the phone. This action is picked up during the student’s session and alerts instructors to review for academic integrity issues. Honorlock does not initiate any technologies to eavesdrop on the student’s smartphone activity either during or after an examination session.

    It is important for students to understand they are not authorized to use their phones during an Honorlock proctored examination.