Family Guide

Your First-Year Student: FAQ's

FALL 2021

The following are some Frequently Asked Questions from Parents and Family Members of new MICA students. If you have any questions that are not answered in this section, feel free to contact parentrelations@mica.edu and we will best direct your question. 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY

  • Does MICA discuss safe city living with students?
    • Yes, this information is provided in an online Orientation course (students will get access to this in mid-July) along with  MICA Campus Safety who provides information during Orientation to help students learn about living in an urban environment. In addition, the Office of Campus Safety and the Office of Student Affairs provide timely information via email on any patterns of crimes that take place on campus or in the Bolton Hill neighborhood to help students take appropriate safety precautions. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the shuttle that provides transportation between campus buildings and student housing each evening. For more information on the shuttle, contact Transportation Services at 410-225-2340.

  • What happens if my student becomes ill while at MICA?
    • Each student pays a health services fee that allows them to receive medical attention at MICA Student Health Services health care center, located on Mount Royal Avenue across from Founders Green. If your student is too ill to walk over to the healthcare center, they can contact the residence hall front desk and ask for Campus Safety to provide transportation. If your student is urgently ill during the evening, they should go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Campus Safety can also assist in transporting your student to the hospital, but cannot stay and wait for the student to be seen. Students are urged to bring a roommate or other friend in the case of an emergency room visit.

  • How will health insurance work for my student?
    • MICA has adopted the following policy that applies to our students; all students are required to maintain health insurance coverage that is in place every day of their higher education career.
    • Our health insurance is offered through AETNA. The cost of the insurance plan includes all administration fees. Students are automatically enrolled in the MICA-sponsored health plan, but they can choose to waive out of or confirm enrollment. Any waivers requested after the deadline will be assessed a financial penalty. Please note, International students are not allowed to waive MICA student health insurance. You will receive information in the mail about how to opt out of the insurance plan over the summer. If you have questions about MICA's insurance coverage including steps about opting out, please call QM Services at 1-800-273-1715 ext 2.
    • Please remember to complete your Health History Form (sent in a separate email), including documentation of a physical with your primary care provider. The initial date for returning your health history form is July 15, 2021.  If you have not turned in your completed health form with vaccination information, including meningitis and COVID-19 vaccinations; the Office of Student Affairs are the folks to talk to. Please upload your required health forms to the Medicat student portal found on MICA’s Student Health Center webpage. On the day of Orientation, our on-campus health providers will be at a table we will direct you to if you have any questions. 
    • If you are living on campus, please ensure that we either have verification of your meningitis vaccination or meningitis waiver form. Confirmation of vaccination or completion of the waiver form is required by the State of Maryland. If our office does not have verification of these documents, you will not be allowed to move into your room. For answers to questions about the vaccination requirements, medical care on campus, or the health history form, please call the  Student Health Center at 410-225-4118 or email at healthservices@mica.edu

  • Can my student receive an immediate cash-advance in the case of a dire financial need?
    • Students can receive an urgent cash advance from Student Account Services if their account has a positive balance. You can wire money to Student Account Services to help your student in this type of situation.

ORIENTATION

  • Should I plan on attending all of the Orientation with my student?
    • It is not necessary for you to plan on attending all of the Orientation with your student. MICA's Orientation program is designed for students only. As a parent or family member, you can assist your First Year student with move-in on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. You will be asked to say goodbye to your student during dinner on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 There will be a virtual only Parent & Family Orientation in mid-August to inform parents & families how to best support their students at MICA. Details on the time, date and RSVP information will be sent closer to the time.

  • How do I get to MICA and where should I stay?
    • Please see the Visit MICA page for more comprehensive information.

  • Does my student need to register and/or pay a fee for Orientation like at other schools? Is it mandatory to attend Orientation?
    • No, there is Orientation Registration necessary at MICA. If you are a member of the incoming class (first year, transfer, or international student), it is assumed you will attend Orientation. All new students pay a mandatory one-time Orientation fee, which has already been charged to your student account with your tuition. You will NOT need to pay any additional fees related to Orientation upon arrival. Orientation is mandatory. There is a tremendous amount of information disseminated during this five-day period that you will not want your student to miss.

  • What is Orientation like and why is it important that I encourage my student to attend?
    • Orientation at MICA is a mandatory event for all first-year and transfer incoming students. It is a fun and intensive program. Students will participate in a wide variety of activities designed to help them get acclimated to MICA, Baltimore, and living on their own. From academic-based sessions to campus tours and social gatherings in the evening, Orientation has something for everyone!
    • Starting college is a time of challenge, excitement, and adjustment. Orientation is the best way for your student to learn their way around MICA and the surrounding community. Orientation also provides guidance and resources on academics, involvement, and support services on campus.

  • What should my student bring to MICA and should they stock up on art supplies now?
  • What resources are available for Parents and Family members if we are worried about our student or have questions after we leave campus?
  • How can my student find out if they are meeting a faculty member's academic expectations?
    • Students are encouraged to speak directly with faculty if they are uncertain about the grading process, how they are doing in a class, or other concerns including incomplete assignments or multiple absences. Encourage your student to talk with the professor before or after class in these situations instead of the student waiting to hear from the faculty member. Some faculty members mail academic warning notices to students if they are not doing well by the midpoint in the semester. Final grades are posted online at the end of the semester.
       
  • How do I stay involved at MICA after I leave Orientation?
    • Stay up-to-date on current info at MICA by visiting the MICA website. For information specifically pertaining to parents and family members, visit the MICA Parents website

 

COVID

  • What is the procedure at the moment in terms of preventing the spread of COVID?
    • MICA has implemented a broad set of health and safety protocols: mandatory student vaccines, masks indoors, hand sanitizer stations across campus, disinfectant wipes, isolation space for students who test positive and quarantine space for identified close contacts as recommended. 

  • How will you hold the student community accountable for COVID safe practices given the news stories of large campus gatherings?
    • MICA is fortunately a different institution in both type and community than many of the campuses where these reports have emerged from. While this does not inoculate us from such events, they are outside of our cultural norm. That being said, we are prepared to respond to such an event if it were to happen. Our community is continually reinforced regarding the campus expectations and the need to be vigilant about health and safety. In addition to our normal vehicles, such as Campus Safety, for monitoring behavior we have also launched an online form where any individual can report a possible concern. Our teams are prepared to engage in education and progressive discipline with any student, faculty, or staff member who violates our expectations, and should behavior be concerning enough we will limit or remove the ability for an individual to access the physical campus.

  • Will students need to be vaccinated to return in the fall?
    • For Fall 2021, MICA has instituted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for all students (sent in separate email). Students will not be allowed to access campus without proof of vaccine or a completed medical or religious waiver, or a temporary international waiver. These documents can be uploaded to the Medicat student portal found on MICA’s Student Health Center webpage.  
    • Click here for the Fall 2021 Unvaccinated Guidelines
       
  • Do international students need to quarantine when they come to the US?
    • MICA recommends that all  unvaccinated students self-quarantine for seven (7) days upon arrival to campus. Students  will also  be  asked  to get  tested  for COVID-19 3-5 days after arrival. During self-quarantine,  students  are  permitted  to leave their  residences  to get  meals as well as to attend  any necessary medical appointments.

HOUSING 

  • What if I have questions about my student’s housing situation?
    • For all Housing-related questions, you can visit the Residence Life website. You will find detailed information about living on or off-campus at MICA, including a packing list, important dates and deadlines, and helpful contact information for the Residence Life staff.

  • What are the on-campus housing arrangements during this term?
    • MICA’s residence halls will operate in normal capacity, with the exception of spaces being held aside for isolation or quarantine needs within the semester.

  • What if my student doesn't get along with their roommate?
    • In the case of serious roommate conflicts, the Office of Residence Life will initially bring all of the residents together for a roommate mediation. If the mediation is not successful, the Residence Life staff will make every attempt to identify other solutions, including roommate switches. However, please be aware that residence halls are typically at full capacity and options for switching rooms may be limited.

  • When do you anticipate that students would need to sign up for fall housing and will they be able to select roommates?
    • Most first-year students participated in the housing sign-up process in early June. If your student missed that process or if you have ongoing questions please contact the Office of Residence Life at residencelife@mica.edu. Housing important dates can be found here

ALL OTHER QUESTIONS

  • How can my student become more involved and connected on campus?
    • The Center for Student Engagement (CSE) is a good place for your student to learn about the many options of becoming involved on campus-whether attending a large MICA student function or getting connected with a smaller student organization. There are close to 50 student organizations on campus, which provides many opportunities for students to connect on common hobbies, interests, majors, or identities. The Community Arts and Service program within CSEalso offers opportunities for students to volunteer in the Baltimore community, and is another great way to meet people and become connected to other students and the larger community.

  • What help can you give to students who are looking for OPT?
    • The Office of International Education (OIE) does several things to support students applying for OPT.
    • 1. OIE provides a webinar for students interested in learning more about OPT or who will want to apply for it that semester (we recorded it and can make this available to any student who missed the workshop done a few weeks ago).
    • 2. We then provide a follow-up webinar solely to answer questions about the OPT process.
    • 3. Students who are applying for OPT can request a virtual OPT PreCheck. This is where an advisor goes over all the requirements, answers any questions, and if the student has the forms already filled out, can check them over.
    • 4. Provide a Final OPT appointment. This is where the student and the advisor check over all the materials for sending in the application to ensure everything is done correctly. After that appointment, the advisor will make the new I-20 and send it to the student who needs this last item to include in the OPT application.
    • 5. Then once the application has been sent, if the student has any questions, they can contact one of our advisors.
    • If you are graduating in Spring 2021 and applying for OPT, below are some suggestions and important deadlines as you prepare your OPT application. Attached you will find the OPT Student Request form and OPT Application Packet, which includes the presentation given during the workshop. A recording of the OPT Workshop will be available to everyone soon.
    • More information on OPT can be found here

  • How can my student become more involved and connected on campus?
    • The Center for Student Engagement (CSE) is a good place for your student to learn about the many options of becoming involved on campus-whether attending a large MICA student function or getting connected with a smaller student organization. There are close to 50 student organizations on campus, which provides many opportunities for students to connect on common hobbies, interests, majors, or identities. The Community Arts and Service program within CSEalso offers opportunities for students to volunteer in the Baltimore community, and is another great way to meet people and become connected to other students and the larger community.

  • Can packages be sent to the mailroom?
    • Students living on campus should send their packages to their residence hall address, to arrive no sooner than August 25th, when package pick-up will begin at the residence hall package rooms. Students living off-campus can address their packages to MICA Postal & Print, arriving no sooner than August 25th (prior to that and for all letter mail, please use your home or local street address). Postal & Print is transitioning back from pandemic operations and has extremely limited capacity to store packages for students that ship before 8/25. For more information, please refer to the MICA Postal & Print website.  

  • How does my student's meal plan work?
    • In general, students are able to use their meal plan at the Meyerhoff House Dining facility, Café Doris in the Fox Building and Glace Grill in Founders Green.
    • Four meal options are offered each day, from breakfast (at Cafe Doris), lunch (Meyerhoff and Cafe Doris), Dinner (Cafe Doris, Meyerhoff and Glace Grill) and late night (Cafe Doris and Glace Grill), so your student can eat according to his or her schedule. Students should choose which meals they will eat since they have a limited number of meals on their meal plan. If your student runs out of meals, they can contact Student Accounts to determine how many more meals they desire for the semester, and then you can place additional meals on your student's account. For more information about the MICA meal plan, please contact Parkhurst Dining Services at 410-225-2577.

 

Important MICA Phone Numbers:

  • Academic Advising 410-225-2315
  • Academic Affairs 410-225-2289
  • Alumni & Parent Relations 410-225-2397
  • Campus Safety 410-225-2355
  • Career Development 410-225-2420
  • Financial Aid 410-225-2285
  • Identity and Inclusion 443-552-1659
  • International Affairs 410-225-2243
  • MICA Student Health Services 410-225-7325
  • Orientation 410-225-2284
  • Open Studies 410-225-2219
  • Parent & Family Weekend 410-225-2284
  • Parkhurst Dining Services 410-225-7360
  • Postal & Print Services 410-225-2202
  •  President's Office 410-225-2237
  • Residence Life 410-225-2398
  • Shuttles (Day) 410-225-2340 (Evening) 410-225-2245
  • Student Accounts 410-225-2356
  • Student Affairs 410-225-2422
  • Student Counseling 410-225-2367
  • Student Engagement 410-225-2284
  • Student Records 410-225-2234
  • Writing Studio 410-225-2418