Academics & Classrooms

Fall 2020 Remote Instruction

Instruction will be primarily, and for many students exclusively, delivered remotely. We will offer some in-person and hybrid courses for undergraduates living on campus in the following categories: research and labs, studios and performance-based courses, and seminars.

We will be making use of newly developed outdoor classroom spaces and non-traditional classrooms to the extent feasible for those classes, and will identify on-campus spaces for residential students to study and participate in remote courses. Students not living on campus will be able to take all of their courses remotely and will have access to all student support services, both remotely and in dedicated College locations expressly designed for their connectivity and study needs. 

All in-person instruction will adhere to the public health protocols to keep physical distance, wear a facial covering, and use other measures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have the utmost confidence in our exceptional faculty to continue to provide highly personalized instruction, advising, and mentoring.


Academic Calendar Modifications

In order to maximize safety with the least possible disruption, the undergraduate academic calendar will begin fall semester on August 24, 2020 (one week earlier than the original calendar), and end on November 24, 2020. There will be no midterm break, and the final exam period is scheduled (online) for November 30–December 4, 2020. School of Liberal Arts graduate programs will follow this undergraduate academic calendar. The School of Economics and Business Administration and Kalmanovitz School of Education graduate and professional academic calendars will remain largely unchanged with possible modifications for courses that include undergraduate students.

2020–2021 Academic Calendar

For Those Classes That Meet In Person

By reducing housing density, restricting campus access, and conducting regular testing of campus residents, we will be able to offer a small number of classes that meet in person. But because we need to reduce comings and goings from campus, access to campus facilities and in-person class participation will only be an option for students who are living in the residence halls.

Facial coverings must be worn by all faculty and students in classrooms, labs, studios, and all instructional spaces. All in-person instruction time must maintain the appropriate physical distance (6-feet apart).

In addition, the following measures will be taken:

  1. Strict protocols for disinfecting surfaces such as desks, computers, or other equipment. Room-specific plans have been developed for every classroom and instructional space, including labs, studios, and rehearsal spaces.
  2. Some classes will be held in larger spaces on campus, including outdoor tents and campus rooms that are not normally used for instruction, including those in the Soda Center and Recreation Center.
  3. Most campus lab spaces will be retrofitted with plexiglass to enable students to work in stations.
  4. Expect to wear a facial covering and adhere to the Campus-Wide Health and Wellness Protocols.

Fall 2020 Classes with In-Person Instruction

Teaching & Learning Strategies

Despite the multitude of challenges we are facing in the time of pandemic, student-centered education rooted in inclusive, rigorous, and interactive pedagogy will remain the foundation of teaching and learning at Saint Mary’s. Faculty and staff are turning this challenging moment into an opportunity for reimagination of new ways to connect with students and to equip them with the knowledge and skills that they need to flourish in the time of pandemic and beyond.

Faculty and staff leaders in the College offered several faculty forums to reflect on teaching experiences and student learning in spring 2020, and developed a summer workshop and training series to prepare faculty for online, hybrid, and technology-enhanced in-person fall courses. Organized into four blocks—explore (possible technologies), expand (resources), develop (pedagogical repertoire), and fine-tune—this comprehensive summer workshops and training series has nearly 20 topics to offer. Faculty have been attending these sessions to advance their use of educational technology and pedagogical development adaptable to the various student needs in this unique time. To further support faculty development, we have launched a summer grant and COVID fall mentorship program for sustainable infrastructure for continued engagement with our pedagogical development and technological integration.