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Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ’s

We understand our students have many, many questions about new procedures being implemented as Lake Area Technical College prepares for students to return to campus this fall.  Rest assured, we are using every tool at our disposal to make our students’ return safe as they begin the new semester. Our approach may change as the situation changes. The safety of our students and everyone on the Lake Area Tech campus is our number one priority. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions we’ve received to date. We’ll be adding additional questions and answers as they come in.

Students – please check your email as that is the primary form of communication with you at this time. Many of these questions are being answered by your instructors via email.

If you are unable to view the dropdown FAQ’s please download the PDF here 

Fall 2020

Will there be classes on campus this fall?

Yes, classes begin on campus for all students on Monday, August 17. Lake Area Tech looks forward to welcoming new and returning students in a safe environment.

How can I get my books, tools, and laptop?

Students can purchase books online at https://bookstore.lakeareatech.edu/. Follow the directions on the site for each program.

The Stax bookstore is also open for students who are on campus and wish to purchase their books in person. Social distancing will be adhered to while in the bookstore. At this time, tools and laptop purchases/down payments have to be made in the bookstore. An online payment option is in the works.

What has Lake Area Tech done to ensure a safe return to campus?

Lake Area Tech staff has worked diligently to clean and disinfect our campus buildings. Students and faculty will notice hand sanitizer, plexiglass shields, and signage throughout campus and CDC guidelines will be followed.

Will there be wellness screens?

Everyone will be screened daily upon entrance at various locations across campus. Screenings include taking your temperature and asking questions regarding symptoms.

What about masks?

Students will be advised to wear a mask when social distancing cannot be achieved, especially in common areas. All students will be issued a branded, fashionable cloth mask/facial covering, at no charge. Students are responsible for the daily cleaning and maintaining of their mask. Masks will be available in Stax bookstore for purchase if a second mask is desired or if lost. Once students are physically in their program, program protocols will be followed.

What are program bubbles?

 All students will belong to a “bubble,”a safe zone within their program established to maintain the safety of everyone within it. It is everyone’s personal responsibility to follow the safety protocols established in the bubbles for the safety of all of our staff and students, especially those at high risk.

Are campus tours happening for potential students?

Yes. Potential student tours and other visitors to campus will be supported by appointment, but with adherence to CDC guidelines and minimal exposure to on-campus personnel.  Tour sizes will be limited, and specific guidance will be provided.

Is the Market 65 cafeteria open?

The Lake Area Technical College Market 65 will be open with modifications that will be in place prior to the beginning of the fall semester. The online app can be used for grab and go breakfasts or lunches.  Go to https://www.toasttab.com/market-65-lake-area-technical-College to place your order.

Will there be student activities?

Yes! We’ll offer our students options for fun and entertaining activities throughout the school year. Some activities that we normally offer, like dances, will not take place due to the current situation, however students can still expect plenty of opportunities for fun.

Financial Aid

I am receiving Veterans Education Benefits. Will these continue as normal as we transition to online for the remainder of the semester?

At this point the VA School Certifying Officials have been directed not to change any certifications with the VA.  There are some upcoming webinars in the next week that will provide more guidance. As we have more information, Julie Forman, VA School Certifying Official will share that information with the students receiving VA Education Benefits.

I am a Federal Work Study Student. Can I continue to work or will I get paid?

An e-mail was sent on March 24th to all Work Study students who have been actively working during Spring Semester. Work Study Supervisors were also sent an e-mail explaining the changes due to COVID-19.

The Department of Education is allowing schools to continue to pay students even though they may not be allowed to return to campus. Since students are not allowed to be on campus, those that were working will continue to be paid. Earnings will be based on either scheduled hours or average hours. We will look at each student individually.

If your Work Study Supervisor is able to utilize you by having you work remotely for them, we encourage them to do so! For example, if a student could assist with some computer programming or assist with producing videos for course instruction, etc. and can do so remotely, you could continue to work if your Supervisor wants to utilize you.

If you have questions about the upcoming Work Study pay periods, please contact Marlene Seeklander, Director of Financial Aid.

I still need to complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and need help, what should I do?

Even though we aren’t able to meet with you individually and provide the hands-on assistance that we are accustomed to providing, we’re still here to help you! You can complete the 20-21 FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. Make sure you select the 2020-2021 FAFSA and have your FSA ID and password available. We encourage you to complete it by our April 1st priority date.

You can still call us at 800-657-4344 or 605-882-5284 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday-Friday). If you’re working on it at night or on the weekend and don’t want to wait to call us when we’re in the office, you can always call 1-800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243) and they can assist you.

What do I do if I don’t remember my FSA ID and password for the FAFSA?

You can go to the fsaid.ed.gov web site and select “Manage my Password.” If you don’t remember your FSA ID, click on “Forgot My Username” and if you forgot your password, click on “Forgot My Password.” If you are still having technical difficulties with your password, check out the Frequently Asked Questions via this link:  https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/pub/faq.htm or call 1-800-433-3243.

What’s the best way to contact the Financial Aid Office during this time?

You can call or e-mail our office like usual! We’re here to help you!

Our general e-mail is FINANCIALAID@lakeareatech.edu and is monitored by a Financial Aid staff member.

Please call us at 1-800-657-4344 or 605-882-5284. Individual extensions are listed below:

Carrie Jordanger                     Ext. 254

Julie Forman                           Ext. 301

Lisa McPeek                           Ext. 274

Marlene Seeklander                Ext. 255

How do we make tuition payments?

Tuition payments are to be completed online on MyPortal. Select the Student tab, then the My Finances tab. If you have any questions, please email susan.gaulrapp@lakeareatech.edu.

Laptop/Internet Help

The Lake Area Technical College IT Department has developed a comprehensive FAQ page addressing laptop and internet support questions

The Lake Area Technical College IT Department has developed a comprehensive FAQ page addressing laptop and internet support questions:  https://www.lakeareatech.edu/laptop-info-covid-19/

Resources for Assistance

What if I need financial assistance?

An Emergency Loan Fund has been established for Lake Area Technical College students who are in need of financial help. For more information please contact Lake Area Technical College Director of Enrollment Eric Schultz either by phone: 1-800-657-4344 ext. 228 or by email: eric.schultz@lakeareatech.edu.

Where can students in Watertown find free access to food if they are in need?

Local food pantries and food distribution programs:

The Salvation Army, located at 621 4th Street SE in Watertown, has a food pantry available the following days and times: Mondays 1-3 PM & Wednesdays and Fridays 9-11:30 AM. If you are a vulnerable/at-risk population, the Salvation Army will do home deliveries after an over-the-phone appointment has been completed. Contact Shannon at the Salvation Army to receive that assistance:  605-886-4030.

Free meals:

The Salvation Army sponsors a Free Lunch Program Monday-Friday 11:30-12:30. All lunches are grab-and-go and can be picked up during that hour at the Salvation Army, located at 621 4th Street SE in Watertown.

Access Ministry, 25 West Kemp Ave., provides sack lunches at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The Banquet is served at Grace Lutheran Church, 202 2nd Street SE, on Mondays 5:30-6:30 PM. Currently, they are serving grab-and-go meals.

As CDC and health department guidelines change, these services and their hours may change. We will try to keep this page up to date; however, changes can happen quickly.

If transportation, health or other obstacles keep you from utilizing the above services, please call/text Stephanie Danielsen at 605.237.0659 or email at stephanie.danielsen@lakeareatech.edu in the Lake Area Technical College Center for Student Engagement and Support. We will work with you to ensure your needs are met.

What if I am stressed out and am having a hard time dealing with everything that is going on?

Your mental health is very important to us. We know this is a stressful time, so we will continue to provide mental health services in person or by video-conferencing. We can help with everything from how to deal with social isolation to financial burdens, and anything in between.  Call or text either Jessi Whetsel at 605.237.8425 or email her at jessi.whetsel@lakeareatech.edu  or call/text Stephanie Danielsen at 605.237.0659 or email at stephanie.danielsen@lakeareatech.edu  to set up a time.

Need help immediately with thoughts of suicide? Call 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741.

Here are some great Apps to put on your phone to help your stress: Virtual Hope Box, Breathe, Mindshift, and Moodpath

Can I still get tutoring?

Yes! Free tutoring services are available to all students. Contact Lori Kwasniewski, Educational Services Coordinator, at lori.kwasniewski@lakeareatech.edu or call 605-882-5284 ext. 399 for more information.

Students

Students, please check your email DAILY. Your instructors will be in touch regarding online instruction, how to access it, and many other details regarding your program.

How can I get my books, tools, and laptop?

Students can purchase books online at https://bookstore.lakeareatech.edu/. Follow the directions on the site for each program.

The Stax bookstore is also open for students who are on campus and wish to purchase their books in person. Social distancing will be adhered to while in the bookstore. At this time, tools and laptop purchases/down payments have to be made in the bookstore. An online payment option is in the works.

How do I return library books?

We have automatically extended everyone’s due dates through the end of the semester. For now, just hold on to your items. The library will reopen when campus reopens.

Can I still meet with a librarian?

Absolutely! You can contact a librarian with your research and citation questions through email or by phone 605-882-5284, ext. 234 (leave a message and we’ll call you back).  You can also set up an appointment to meet with a librarian in a live, online session. Email Nicki to set up a virtual appointment.

What library resources are available?

The library’s electronic resources are always open!

Click here for a list of library databases: https://www.lakeareatech.edu/library/all-databases-a-z/

Email the library to request the passwords needed for off-campus access to these resources.

Will the library be able to proctor my exam?

No. Currently, the library has suspended all proctoring services. Check back for updates.

Does the library have ebooks available?

Yes. The library has two main ebook collections:

  1. LATC’s Overdrive collection has hundreds of downloadable fiction and nonfiction ebooks and audiobook. Click here for instructions to download Overdrive’s Libby app to your phone or tablet.
  2. EBSCO Ebooks provides access to more than 200,000 nonfiction, informational ebooks. Email the library for off-campus passwords.

What Do I Need to Know About Being an Online Student?

Other Questions

How do I make my own non-medical mask?

How does this affect dual credit students?

Dual Credit updated registration procedures

March 27, 2020: Here is the latest dual credit information from our Retention and Dual Credit Coordinator directed to school counselors in regard to high school students and dual credit classes:

  • Our $25 application fee for LATC programs has been waived until June 1st. No fee for dual credit.  Our admissions team is also waiving the testing requirement for LATC acceptance and will use other methods to determine acceptance.
  • LATC is not giving the Accuplacer on campus or remotely at this time. We are working on a plan to improve our testing capacity when testing resumes since the ACT and Smarter Balance test scores may not be available.  Tina Cloutier will no longer be the test coordinator after next week.  If you have questions, hopefully I can answer them by the time testing is up and running again.

LATC technical courses- Any course NOT marked with a T (ENGL101T, PSYC101T, SPCM101T, etc.) will continue to be registered based on a school officials recommendation that the student is academically prepared, mature and motivated to take college level courses (especially true of online).

BOR transferable courses marked with a T.  I will follow the guidance of the BOR if there are any changes but for now I will register ALL STUDENTS that I receive an online application and approval form.  I will provisionally register those students that have not met the BOR admissions requirements such as GPA, class rank, test scores, etc. and keep track of this in an Excel document that I will provide each school and work through the best we can once things are “normal”.  If a transcript is able to be sent, and the student is now a sophomore with a 3.5 GPA or a junior with a 3.25 GPA or matching class rank, I will register them and once this semester is over, just get an updated transcript to verify.  This will help register students for any class except ENGL101T or MATH114T which will need placement test scores.

Updated registration process– Transcripts and signatures may be difficult since you will not be in physical contact with your students.

LATC’s Dual Credit page: https://www.lakeareatech.edu/academics/dual-credit/

  1. Student will fill out the online dual credit registration   https://my.lakeareatech.edu/ICS/Admissions/LATC_Dual_Credit_Application/
  2. Student and parent will fill out the approval form with the requested course and section https://www.lakeareatech.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20-21Dual-Enrollment-Approval-Form-fillable.pdf
  3. Available Fall 2020 course list https://www.lakeareatech.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020-FL-dual-credit-courses-to-website-2-28-2020.pdf. Summer courses are on our website.
  4. Student may scan or take a picture of the approval from and email to the high school official.
  5. High school official approves or denies the student request for the requested course and section.
  6. If approved, the high school official forwards the emailed approval form to me (no signature needed). Any changes to the requested course can be made in the body of the email.
  7. I will register the student and keep track of any provisional courses and provide that list to you on a regular basis.

Lee Quale, Retention and Dual Credit Coordinator

 (605) 882-5284 Ext. 220 (I am still on campus working or it will go to my cell phone if I am off campus)

(800) 657-4344        Fax (605) 882-6299

How do I volunteer to help?

Volunteer Helpline 211

The link for volunteers (individuals)- www.volunteer211.com
https://youtu.be/4vA7hDuVdmQ

The link for business and organizations offering services and assistance- www.watertownsd211.com
https://youtu.be/ltbBvSQG-oA

Is there a contact list for campus support resources?

Campus Support Reference: 

Seeking employment?

Check into re employment assistance to see if you are eligible:

  • raclaims.sd.gov
  • Reemployment Assistance (RA) provides temporary financial assistance for people who have lost their job until they find other employment. South Dakota’s reemployment assistance program is financed by employers through payroll taxes; workers do not contribute to this plan.

See all South Dakota job openings at:

Looking to talk with Lake Area Technical College representative?

I lost my part-time job, what can I do?

You can apply for re-employment assistance, even if you were only working part-time. You may or may not be eligible for assistance, but it is worth applying for. You can do this at https://dlr.sd.gov/ra/default.aspx and select Reemployment Assistance for Individuals. You can file a claim online or by telephone.

See all South Dakota job openings at:

Looking to talk with Lake Area Technical College representative?