2021 Summer and Fall Semesters: Frequently Asked Questions

Will Rochester Community and Technical College be open for Summer and Fall 2021?

Yes. Our goal is to provide as much flexibility to meet students’ needs while still following safety guidelines and best practices. We will continue to provide you with an excellent learning experience, and are ready to adapt should public health conditions change.

If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to e-mail, call, or come to campus. Please note face coverings are required while inside campus buildings, and any person wishing to enter a campus building must complete a COVID-19 self-assessment.

Will classes be held online or in-person?

The College's schedules for Summer and Fall semesters include courses in several different formats, including in-person; online synchronous (class meets online at scheduled times); online asynchronous (class does not meet at scheduled times, except for testing); and a blend of options. Click here to see a complete list of course delivery formats.

Will it be safe for me to visit campus?

Safety is our top priority. To help ensure we can provide quality in-person instruction, RCTC has implemented a number of new safety practices. Our classrooms have been rearranged to ensure social distancing, including increased spacing between seats and some assigned seating. Our goal is to offer as many in-person and blended courses as our physical space will allow, but this may mean some classes will be held in different rooms than in the past. We are also cleaning and sanitizing surfaces routinely and are encouraging everyone to wipe down their work areas before and after they use them. Hand sanitizer and  cleaning supplies are available for everyone to use.

Do I have to wear a mask while on campus?

Any person in a public or common space within the buildings of the RCTC campus must wear a cloth or disposable face covering, even when they are not within six feet of others. Learn more about RCTC's face covering requirements. RCTC encourages everyone to bring their own mask, but disposable face coverings will be available for those who do not have one of their own. Students wishing to explore medical-related exemptions must contact Disability Support Services.

RCTC will follow the guidance of the MDH, the CDC, and the government of the State of Minnesota regarding frequent hand washing, hand sanitizing, covering coughs and sneezes, etc.

Hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and other safety items will be in numerous places throughout the buildings.

Do vaccinated faculty, staff, and students have to continue wearing a mask?

Yes. All faculty, staff, and students at all Minnesota State colleges, universities, and the system office are required to wear a mask, social distance, and continue hand washing protocols until further notice.

What is the COVID-19 Self-Assessment, and do I have to do it?

To protect the health and safety of students and employees from the direct threat resulting from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace to the extent reasonably possible, Rochester Community and Technical College is requiring mandatory screening of all employees, students, contractors, and visitors prior to entering campus buildings for potential exposure to COVID-19 and symptoms of COVID-19

Students, employees, and visitors must complete a self-screening assessment each day they wish to come to campus.  The screening tool is accessible by scanning one of the QR code posters found across campus, or by visiting minnstate.edu/CV19-RCTC. Printed copies of the form will be available at campus entrances should an individual not have access to a computer or mobile device.  The screening tool will issue a “pass” to the user via email if s/he answers all questions appropriately.  That pass email must be shown to RCTC staff working at building entrances before they can proceed.  If a user receives a red/fail email, s/he should return home and consult with a healthcare professional.

To read more about this tool, including an FAQ document and Tutorial video, visit our COVID-19 page. Those with additional questions should contact the Welcome and One Stop Center at 507-285-7210

How do I get books?

The RCTC Bookstore is open, but all books must be ordered online. Please see below for answers to some of your questions:

Q: Can I come into the Bookstore to get my books?

A: No, books need to be ordered online through the RCTC Bookstore’s website, www.RCTC.edu/bookstore. There are step-by-step instructions on the website on how to place an order. You can order books for summer courses starting May 17. You can order books for fall semester starting August 2.

Q: How long does an online order take?

A: Orders typically take 1 – 3 business days except during peak ordering times when orders can take up to 5 – 7 days. Order early to avoid the rush.

Q: Can I have my books shipped to me?

A: Yes, your books can be shipped directly to you.

Q: Can I pick up my books on campus?

A: When your order has been filled you will receive an e-mail with pick up instructions.

Q: Can I come into the Bookstore to buy clothing or supplies?

A: Yes, as long as there are five or less people in the Bookstore.

When are campus buildings open?

College business hours are 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, but campus buildings will be accessible to students and visitors following the schedule below. Note: some areas such as the Goddard Library and RCTC Bookstore may have different hours than those listed here, and classes may still be in session after doors lock. Students will still be able to leave the building, but there will be no entrance after the times listed.

Monday-Friday Building and Accessible Door Open Close
Main Campus Atrium Door #13 6:30 a.m. 8:00 p.m.
Main Campus Memorial Hall Door #26 6:30 a.m. 8:00 p.m.
Heintz Center Door H8 6:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Heintz Center Door H14 6:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Sports Center Door S2 6:30 a.m. 10:00 p.m.
Saturday Building and Accessible Door Open Close
Atrium Door #13 7:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Heintz Center Door H8 7:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Sports Center Door S2 6:30 a.m. 10:00 p.m.
Sunday Building and Accessible Door Open Close
Atrium Door #13 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.
Sports Center Door S2 6:30 a.m. 10:00 p.m.
What if there is severe weather?

The College's priority is to provide a safe learning and working environment. However, should the weather become too dangerous for students and staff to travel to and from campus, College Leadership may elect to postpone or cancel classes, or close campus early. These decisions are not made lightly and many factors are considered before making the decision. Please note: any decision about a late-start or class cancellation will be made before 6:00 a.m.

If the decision to close/cancel is made, students will receive an email via the RCTC Alert System. The system can also send text messages and make phone calls.  To sign up and change preferences, please visit https://rctc.bbcportal.com/. Closure announcements will also be broadcast on KTTC-TV, KXLT-TV, and KAAL-TV.

Who do I contact if I'm having trouble with my classes?

RCTC is committed to your success. If you ever find yourself struggling or needing assistance with your classes, there are several resources and options available:

  • Your instructors: set up a time to meet with them to discuss your challenges
  • Your advisor: they can help you determine if your classes and/or major are the right fit for you
  • Learning Center: free tutoring is available in a number of subjects
  • Disability Services: you may be eligible for accommodations
  • Academic Deans: they can help you if you are having concerns with an instructor
Will Student Services be available?

We’re here to support you along your journey, and we’re committed to providing student support services in a safe and flexible way. All support services are open and are offering in-person, as well as online, support for our students. Our academic advisors and Welcome One Stop Center staff are also available to assist students with any adjustments they may need to make to their class schedules.

What if I need D2L and technology support?

If you need assistance with technology, please email tech.help@rctc.edu, or call 507-536-5555. Staff is also available in the Technology Support Center (GL100) to help with technology and D2L/Brightspace questions.

The RCTC Technology Department also has a number of options available for students to borrow technology necessary for coursework. Please click here for more information.

Will food service be available?

RCTC will have food service available at both the Heintz Center and Main Campus.

Heintz Center Fresh Stop Cafe

  • Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Primarily grab-and-go menu items (burgers, chicken tenders, etc.)
  • Additional ready-to-eat items will be available

Main Campus Hive Grill

  • Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Reduced menu with an emphasis on quick to prepare items and more grab and go options
  • Cold grab-and-go items will be available
  • Ordering and payment will be processed at the doors near the elevator
  • Food pick-up will be around the corner at the other door

Please follow posted instructions and signage regarding social distancing, available seating, and sanitation including trash disposal.

Note: procedures including hours and menu items are subject to change.

Can I bring my children with me when visiting the bookstore, the Welcome Center, Records Office, or the Financial Aid Office?

When using service areas visitors are strongly encouraged to leave children at home. Children are not allowed in classrooms. If childcare is not available, parents should keep children close at hand and tend to them at all times.

How do I decide if I should stay home?

Anyone feeling ill should stay home and refrain from coming to campus. Please check with your healthcare provider to determine if COVID-19 testing is necessary. If you are unsure about coming to campus, use this screening flyer to help you make this decision. Anyone coming to campus should perform a self-screening prior to arriving at RCTC.

What happens if there is a resurgence of COVID-19?

Our faculty and staff are preparing to adapt to changing health guidelines. Thanks to their incredible work, we have tremendous flexibility to quickly pivot if conditions change.

Will there be Student Life activities?

Student Life will continue to offer several events both on campus and virtually. Visit RCTC's Student Life page for more information.

Can I take classes at Rochester Community and Technical College and transfer the credits to another college or university?

Yes, you can! This can be a great strategy for maintaining your progress towards your educational goals while staying close to home. RCTC offers the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MNTC) and several Transfer Pathway degrees which are accepted for transfer to other state colleges and universities, the University of Minnesota, and many private colleges and universities.

Please email us at admissions@rctc.edu or give us a call at 507-285-7557 if you have questions about this.