Amid federal rule change, Texas Tech provides reassurance to international students

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech University sent a memorandum to students, faculty and staff on Tuesday reassuring international students that in-person classes were going to resume in response to newly announced federal rule changes.

The changes, announced by federal immigration authorities on Monday, would force international students to leave the United States or transfer to another college if their schools offer their classes entirely online.

As long as international students are not registered for an online-only degree program and are not taking an entirely online course load for Fall 2020,” the letter said, “they will be able to meet the requirements of this Temporary Final Rule and we will be able to maintain appropriate student records.”

Read the full letter below:

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced modifications on Monday (July 6, 2020) to temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online classes due to the pandemic for the fall 2020 semester. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to publish these new procedures and responsibilities in the Federal Register as a Temporary Final Rule.

The purpose of this memorandum is to give a quick update on how this rule might affect our international student population. Texas Tech University plans to resume in-person teaching and learning for the Fall 2020 semester using a blend of face-to-face, hybrid (combination of face-to-face instruction and online learning), and online modalities. Our course modalities will remain flexible with approximately two-thirds of our courses being taught using some degree of face-to-face instruction. As long as international students are not registered for an online-only degree program and are not taking an entirely online course load for Fall 2020, they will be able to meet the requirements of this Temporary Final Rule and we will be able to maintain appropriate student records. This will allow international students to return to or to remain at Texas Tech University for the Fall 2020 semester.

We will continue to monitor the situation as the semester progresses and adapt to any further changes in the rule that might be announced. Please feel free to contact Dr. Richard Porter, OIA’s Director of International Student and Scholar Services, at richard.porter@ttu.edu with additional questions. Thank you.

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