Academics & Classrooms

Looking forward to Spring 2021

Academic Modes of Instruction – Undergraduate spring classes will be offered in a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online modalities to meet the needs of students. We have planned an increased number of in-person classes for students living on campus; some specialized courses on campus for non-residential students; and a range of flexible classes that are designed for either in-person or remote participation. Students who are 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. We have the utmost confidence in our exceptional faculty to continue to provide highly personalized instruction, advising, and mentoring.

All courses will take place in accordance with health protocols that meet or exceed public health guidelines. This includes holding classes in heated outdoor pavilions and well ventilated indoor spaces in which physical distancing can be maintained, requiring physical distance and the use of facial coverings on campus, and ensuring enhanced cleaning and sanitization of classroom spaces. Students can be assured that we will support their continued learning and engagement in campus life, whether in person or remotely. 

Graduate and Professional Studies Programs - Due to the uniqueness of each of our graduate and professional studies programs, the individual schools in which those programs reside will reach out to current and prospective students about their plans for the winter and spring terms. 

For Those Classes That Meet In Person

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 pavilions 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.

Teaching & Learning Strategies

Student-centered education rooted in inclusive, rigorous, and interactive pedagogy remains the foundation of teaching and learning at Saint Mary’s College, despite the multitude of challenges we are facing in the time of pandemic. Faculty and staff are embracing this challenging moment as an opportunity to reimagine new ways to connect with students and to equip them with the knowledge and skills that they need to flourish.

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 robust and ever-growing workshop and training series to prepare faculty for online, hybrid, and technology-enhanced in-person courses. Organized into four blocks—explore (possible technologies), expand (resources), develop (pedagogical repertoire), and fine-tune (always improving)—this comprehensive training resource has supported faculty in adapting educational technology and pedagogical development to the various student needs in this unique time.