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In the interest of safeguarding against possible adverse future public health developments, as well as meeting learning requirements and ensuring that our students receive a full and unique Curry educational experience this fall, the College has adopted emerging best practices and made the following changes to the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar:
*Note that the Continuing Education/Graduate semester will conform to the previously published Calendar for Continuing Education and Graduate Studies. Full semester (e.g. ACCEL) and Term I CE/Grad courses will begin Monday, August 31 and Term II will begin Monday, October 26. Full semester and Term II CE/Grad courses will be offered fully online in the post-Thanksgiving period ending as scheduled on Saturday, December 19.*
Along with many other colleges and universities nation-wide, when making this decision, we considered the Academic Calendar against the backdrop of possible adverse future public health developments. Taking into consideration not only those possibilities, but also the need to meet learning requirements and ensure that our students receive a full and unique Curry educational experience this fall, we concluded that moving residential students in and starting the semester early and ending all classes on November 24 (with only exams and CE-Grad classes taking place online after that date) had the best probability of allowing us to meet that goal, as well as adhering to emerging best practices. We realize that there is no way to guarantee that a future surge of COVID-19 will not alter our plans, but these changes are designed to provide both our faculty and our students with the best possible scenario for a successful on-campus Fall semester, despite that uncertainty.
For both traditional undergraduate and continuing education and graduate courses, Curry College will be incorporating a mix of face-to-face (FTF), hybrid, hyflex and, to a limited extent, online courses in our offerings. The hybrid and hyflex courses include both online and FTF components for a given course. These are designed to reduce contact intensity and frequency. A hybrid course calls for the entire class to meet FTF as scheduled for one of the class meetings in a given week. This will be augmented on-line class time. Hyflex courses split a given class into two alternating sub-sections. Each subsection will alternate between FTF and on-line synchronous classes. Students will be assigned to one of the subsections for such hyflex courses. The in-person, FTF experience for classrooms, labs and studios will be designed consistent with social distance standards as well as health and safety protocols.
We will be splitting lab sections and expanding our classroom inventory to provide social distancing. Directional signage will prevent massing at points of ingress and egress. Where appropriate we will also be lowering course size caps consistent with space and facility limitations, and all advising and scheduled office hours will be conducted virtually through the Fall semester.
While in keeping with our mission and the desires of our community to be on campus this fall, we plan to offer as much FTF academic interaction as is safely possible, we understand that there may be students who may have medical or other reasons that they may not feel comfortable coming to campus. Our faculty are currently working hard to develop the details of FTF, hybrid, hyflex and online options for Fall coursework. It is likely that students who wish to do so may create a schedule that is largely online given these options. As students consider making adjustments to their Fall schedules, please be aware of the need to maintain full time status so as to not impact financial aid awards or progress toward competing degree requirements for a given major. Students with medical issues may request an accommodation through the Office of Disability Services. All reasonable efforts in these cases will be made to design a 100% online schedule – or as nearly as possible -from the range of options available. For all other students, given the range of hybrid, hyflex and online courses the College will be offering, schedule adjustments and course selections may be made with the goal of working as remotely as possible. Curry College will work with any and all students in navigating such schedule adjustments through our Advising and Academic Success support processes.
In order to prevent scheduling complications for commuter students due to the hyflex model (an in-person class immediately followed by an online class, for example), we will be identifying dedicated space for commuter students with laptops to work on campus. The College will also make every effort to work with individual students in order to create schedules that avoid conflicts of this nature.
Finally, we understand that collaboration with classmates is an important part of the academic experience at Curry. Dedicated and appropriately socially distanced spaces will be identified for students to study together and complete group assignments outside of the resident halls.
Curry College offers an online certification process through the Faculty Center, which faculty members who are teaching remotely are required and supported in completing before the Fall semester. Thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff, and the willingness of our students to adapt admirably to a new and unfamiliar environment, our experience this spring has helped us understand better how to navigate the challenges and benefits of online teaching and learning. We will continue to improve, to evolve, and, most importantly, to safeguard our promise to deliver on a uniquely Curry educational experience.
At minimum, students should be prepared with laptops according to Curry College specs, which may be found on the myCurry portal ('Technology' tab). We have also tested our campus Wifi system and confirmed that it will meet the increased demand of hyflex and online courses.
Canvas is the learning management system of Curry College. You can access Canvas through the link located on the homepage of the myCurry Portal. When logged in to Canvas, one of the courses that are in your Dashboard is the “Canvas Readiness Course.” Please consider this a comprehensive resource to understand the features and functionalities within Canvas. You will also be able to view a five-minute video that provides an overview of the Canvas “must-knows.”
Lab work and clinical coursework is a significant part of the academic experience for many Curry students. We are working closely with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education amongst others regarding clinical experiences in the fall.
Our Nursing department is making every attempt to place our juniors, seniors, and accelerated students in the clinical setting for at least a portion of the semester. To ensure continuity of learning, a greater percentage of time will be spent in high-quality simulation than in prior years. Lab courses and simulated clinical experiences will be held in a combination of face-to-face and virtual formats. All face-to-face experiences will adhere to social distancing guidelines or use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
In the sciences, all students enrolled in BIOL, CHEM, FSC and PHYS lab courses F'20 will meet face-to-face for most experiments, and students will be spread-out over two adjoining labs to maintain social distancing. However, labs have also been set up to translate easily to an online format; Biology lab instructors will offer several virtual labs throughout the semester; all Chemistry, Anatomy and Microbiology labs for NSG and PH students were pre-recorded this summer; and Physics and FSC will offer both synchronous and virtual labs sessions.
The Education Department is making every attempt to place our juniors and senior education students in field experiences this fall, and has been in frequent communication with field placement sites, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Department of Early Education and Care, as well as other colleges and universities in the Boston area to collaborate on these efforts. At this time, the process of securing field sites is slow and proceeding cautiously as state regulatory agencies and public health guidance continues to evolve; but in collaboration with the College, the Education Department is also working on alternative plans and experiences for students that will help students continue to gain the skills required and earn the credit associated with field placement.
We also plan to hold Theater productions at Curry this fall, albeit differently this year from years past. Currently under consideration are a virtual performance for Black Box theater (as was held in Spring 2020), and a Main Stage show with a possibly smaller cast and a smaller audience due to social distancing. More information will be forthcoming as decisions are made.
All of our Academic Support Service offices remain staffed to support our students during normal business hours, regardless of whether study is online or on campus. The Office of Advising and Academic Success is available to assist with any questions you may have related to advising or progress in your classes. Advising questions can be emailed to email@example.com and concerns about academic alerts or progress can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage you to visit our Remote Academic Resources webpage for much more information about the many resources (technological and otherwise) that are currently and will continue to be available to you.
Students who receive academic accommodations through the Office of Disability Services or through PAL are still entitled to those accommodations, regardless of the mode of delivery or the class, and those offices will be open and available this Fall. However, this spring, we successfully delivered these services to all students in a remote environment, and we feel confident in our ability to continue to do so, should it become necessary. We will also continue to evolve and improve upon them, finding creative solutions where needed in order to best serve our students and ensure their success.
For specific questions related to PAL, please contact your PAL faculty member directly. General questions can be emailed to email@example.com. For specific questions related to disability accommodations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Levin Library will be open in the Fall semester, following operating restrictions imposed by COVID -19, and in line with College guidelines. While our team will strive to maintain a high level of service, limitations imposed by social distancing requirements, building capacity, and safe handling of materials, must be observed.
Students can shop the bookstore online (currycollegeshop.com) and choose to ship items home or request they be held for in-store pick up on campus. In-store pick up of online purchases begins August 10. During the first two weeks of the semester, in an effort to comply with social distancing guidelines, the bookstore will offer online order pick-up from the Gray Meeting Room in the Student Center. Please contact Erin Niemisto, Store Manager, at 617-333-2322 or email@example.com, with any questions.
The College has notified students that have expressed an interest in study abroad programs in Summer and Fall 2020 that programming has been suspended. We are hopeful that study abroad programming will resume for the Spring 2021 semester. Please contact Mireille McLaughlin, Director of International Student and Study Away Services at 617-333-2967 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for more information about future study away or abroad.