From: International Student Services
Date: October 14, 2020
Subject: ISS News, October 14, 2020: Information About US Presidential Election, OPT & CPT Workshops, GSC RTA Survey, Good Vibes, & More!


October 14, 2020


in this issue:

  1. OPT & CPT Workshops
  2. Court Decision Stops Implementation of New USCIS Fees and Forms
  3. Features
  4. Campus Happenings
  5. Good Vibes Only
  6. Information about the US Presidential Election


ISS Staff is available to students, without an appointment, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday during advising hours:

11am to 3pm- through virtual advising available online

There are no advising hours on Wednesday.


If you need to speak with an advisor outside of our advising hours, please send an email to to schedule an appointment. Please provide your full, legal name and a brief description of the nature of your appointment when you contact us.

uscis logo

Court Decision Stops Implementation of New USCIS Fees and Forms

On September 29, the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction and stay that will stop this new form and new fee from being used until a final decision is made. These fees and forms were supposed to go into effect on October 2. You can read more about the court’s decision here.

Until a final decision is made, you should continue to submit the current Form I-765 with the August 25, 2020 edition date printed on it and a fee of $410 for your OPT and STEM OPT petitions.  This is true of any other USCIS petitions being submitted as well- use forms that are currently available and submit fees currently posted on the USCIS Fee Calculator.

ISS anticipates that there might be some confusion at  USCIS Service Centers during this transition. If you have questions or concerns about any correspondence you receive from USCIS regarding your application, please get in touch with ISS right away and we will assist you.

flyer about voting featuring joe and don clip art
opt and cpt workshop branding telling students to complete a workshop

OPT & CPT Workshops

ISS is offering Optional Practical Training (OPT) and CPT Workshops to go over in detail the application process, student responsibilities, and other important considerations.

Being well informed before applying for either authorization is extremely important and applying early is critical!

USCIS is publishing that it takes 3-5 months to process submitted OPT applications. Plan to complete a required OPT workshop as early as possible to be best prepared. Remember, you do not need to have a job offer to apply for OPT!

You do need to have a job offer before applying for CPT authorization and you are not eligible to begin your experience until you have proper authorization in place. It can take several days to become authorized.

Virtual OPT workshops led by an advisor have been scheduled and information about required registration, attendance, and the application process can be found on our website under the OPT section. ISS staff is still planning the virtual CPT workshops with an advisor and more information will be shared through ISSNews when it is available.


October Study Abroad Friday Forums

Explore opportunities to take your education around the world with Study Abroad Friday Forums in October!

The forums begin on October 9 with how and where to study abroad as an engineering student. On October 16, the forum will focus on study abroad options for students needing accommodations. Then, take a trip “down under” on the 23 to explore programs in Australia and New Zealand, and end the month by discovering business programs available in Europe on October 30.

Each Study Abroad Friday Forum begins at 1 pm on Facebook Live - and most of October’s events are co-hosted by the departments and schools that will be featured!

Make sure to follow CWRU Study Abroad on Facebook at so you don’t miss out!

flyer for Friday Forum

Campus Happenings

GSC logo


GSC wants to hear from you. Each month we release a very short survey on a specific topic. Fill it out anonymously, or enter your Case ID for a chance to win one of three $25 Amazon gift cards.

This month, GSC is tackling some early conversations about the RTA contract that will begin in Fall 2021. Have some thoughts on the pass? We'd love your input!

You can find the survey here.


Exploring Careers for the Common Good (virtual panel discussion)

Thursday, October 22
7:00pm - 8:15pm
Video Conferencing Link
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Considering a career in nonprofits, public policy, or advocacy? Not sure what steps to take? Come to Exploring Careers for the Common Good virtual panel discussion on Thursday, October 22 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. (EST) where CWRU alumni will share about their public service career paths. Please check your CampusGroups reminder email that you’ll receive after registering for the Zoom connection details.

CWRU alumni panelists include:
-Alexis Crosby (B.A. Sociology & English, M.S. Developmental and Child Psychology) - Ohio Deputy Coordinator at Campus Vote Project
-Senator Clarence Lam (B.A. Political Science & Biology, M.P.H., M.D.) - Maryland State Senate
-Derek Schadel (B.A. Anthropology & Spanish) - Senior Project Coordinator at British Council / Colombian Ministry of Technology

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, and Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education.



Understanding Local Politics (virtual panel discussion)

Friday, October 30
4:45pm - 6:00pm
Video Conferencing Link
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The Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL) student Executive Council will be hosting a virtual panel discussion open to the CWRU community about how policy change is shaped at the local level and the role of local politics in our day-to-day lives. Join us as CWRU faculty and staff, representing different disciplines, share how they’ve been involved in the community outside of campus, including in local politics. Please check your CampusGroups reminder email that you’ll receive after registering for the Zoom connection details.

Panelists include:
-Ayesha Bell Hardaway - Assistant Professor at the School of Law and Co-Director of the Social Justice Institute; current Shaker Heights Schools Board of Education Vice President
-David Miller - Associate Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences; past City of South Euclid President of the City Council
-Lou Stark - Vice President for Student Affairs; past Marion City Council member in Iowa


Good Vibes Only

During this very challenging time, ISS staff wants you to know that we are thinking about you- hoping you are safe, healthy, staying positive- and sending out good vibes!

In this section, we are including some things that we hope will make you laugh and smile, help you relax, be entertaining, give you something to do, etc.

This is a good vibes only section!

a rabbit and bear cartoon
hammerhead shark and dolphin cartoon