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In the interest of providing our students and faculty the maximum amount of time to plan their academic journeys, as well as continuing to support community health and safety with the pandemic likely to continue into the winter months, the following changes have been made to the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar:
*Please note that all plans for Spring 2021 are contingent upon the evolving public health situation. We will be monitoring all guidance from local, state and federal authorities carefully and constantly. Should these plans change, we will notify the Curry community without delay.
**Note that the Continuing Education/Graduate semester will conform to the previously published Calendar for Continuing Education and Graduate Studies. Eight-week Term III CE/Grad courses will begin Monday, January 25 and Term IV will begin Monday, March 22, ending as scheduled on Saturday, May 15.
As in the Fall, for both traditional undergraduate and continuing education and graduate courses, for the Spring semester Curry College will continue to incorporate a mix of face-to-face (FTF), hybrid, hyflex and, to a limited extent, online courses in our offerings. The hybrid and hyflex courses will include both online and FTF components for a given course, designed to reduce contact intensity and frequency.
We have learned much since March 2020 about how to effectively design and deliver our curriculum using multiple modalities, as well as supporting this curriculum through virtual advising and our full portfolio of student support services. The College has invested in both faculty development and technology to support these efforts. As we move favorably along this “experience curve,” the quality of the student academic experience will continue to be enhanced.
Along with many other colleges and universities nation-wide, when making these decisions, we considered the Academic Calendar against the backdrop of possible positive or negative 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 spring, we concluded that moving residential students in and starting the semester later 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, and we also recognize the possibility of a widespread vaccine this spring as a potentially positive factor. These changes are designed to provide both our faculty and our students with the best possible scenario for a successful on-campus Spring semester, despite that uncertainty.
For both traditional undergraduate and continuing education and graduate courses, Curry College will continue to incorporate a mix of face-to-face (FTF), hybrid, hyflex and, to a limited extent, online courses in our offerings this spring. 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 continue splitting lab sections and utilizing our expanded 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 Spring semester. In the fall, the College set up tents in locations throughout campus, for outdoor classes (as well as dining and student activities in some cases), and we anticipate a similar arrangement this spring.
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 worked hard to develop the details of FTF, hybrid, hyflex and online options for Spring 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 Spring 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. Once a student is approved for an accommodation, the College will make every effort to offer a remote option for all courses in the student’s schedule. In some cases, this will not be possible and it will be necessary for a student to select an alternate course. 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.
We also understand the need for space for students to study and complete online coursework on campus, outside of classrooms and residence halls, and collaboration with classmates is an important part of the academic experience at Curry. Dedicated and appropriately socially distanced spaces have been identified for students to do online coursework, study together and complete group assignments and will be announced prior to the start of the spring semester.
Curry College offers a Canvas certification process through the Faculty Center, which faculty members who are teaching in hybrid, hyflex, or fully online modalities are required to complete. Faculty are supported and provided resources to successfully obtain this certification before teaching in any online format. Thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff, and the willingness of our students to adapt admirably to a new and unfamiliar environment, our experiences in Spring and Fall 2020 have helped us better understand 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.
The College has also made long-term investments in classroom technology to facilitate different learning modalities. This past summer, the Education Technology committee (EdTech) worked with Buildings & Grounds and Information Technology Services to test out multiple camera and microphone options for classrooms.
Ceiling mounted cameras, able to capture video of the instructor as well as any images projected onto a screen and any writing on a whiteboard, as well as podium-mounted microphones that will be able to pick up all voices in the classroom, have been installed in most classrooms, to assist in live streaming courses to any students who are attending online.
Classroom WiFi adapters (AirTame) have also been installed in most classrooms, to allow faculty and students to wirelessly connect their own electronic devices (PC, Mac, Android, Chromebook, iPad, etc.) to the AV system within the classroom, without having to attach devices to the podium or use adapters.
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 Spring.
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 spring, and has been in frequent communication with field placement sites, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Department of Early Education and Care and the Department of Public Health, 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 Spring, albeit differently this year from years past. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and concerns about academic alerts or progress can be emailed to email@example.com. 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 Spring. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For specific questions related to disability accommodations, please contact email@example.com.
The Speaking Center, offering help to students with every step of preparing a speech or presentation, is located in the Learning Commons in rooms S-106 and S-107. For the Spring 2021 semester all appointments will be online. Once you schedule your appointment, you’ll receive an email with a Zoom link to meet with your Speech Associate. Students can make appointments via the myCurry Portal by going to the 'Academic Support' tab then 'Speaking Center'. Scroll down to find the 'Schedule an Appointment' button or go directly to https://tinyurl.com/curryspeaking.
The Writing Center, offering free feedback and writing help to Curry students, is located on the first floor of the Learning Commons in Room S-109. For the Spring 2021 semester, the Writing Center will be available mostly for online or telephone appointments only, with very limited face-to-face appointments. You can access the schedule and/or make an appointment by logging into the myCurry portal and clicking on 'The Writing Center' quick launch icon.
Students can receive tutoring in one of two ways – through a peer tutor in the Academic Enrichment Center or through professional tutors available through TutorMe in our Canvas learning management system. All tutoring sessions are being conducted remotely. Students can access the peer tutoring database through the myCurry portal on the Academic Support/Tutoring tab and TutorMe through Canvas.
Levin Library will be open in the Spring 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. During the first two weeks of the semester, in an effort to comply with social distancing guidelines, ordering online is strongly suggested. Please contact Erin Niemisto, Store Manager, at 617-333-2322 or firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.
The College has notified students that have expressed an interest in study abroad programs for Spring 2021 that programming has been suspended until further notice. Please contact Mireille McLaughlin, Director of International Student and Study Away Services at 617-333-2967 or email@example.com with questions or for more information about future study away or abroad.
All non-essential, College-sponsored travel remains prohibited through May 31, 2021. This policy will be reviewed as the Fall semester progresses with the hope that non-essential travel may resume for the Fall semester. Please visit the Health and Safety section for more information on personal travel.