All spring semester courses will begin on Wednesday, January 20.
We’ve decided to cancel our weeklong spring break and replace it with a “distributed model” that offers five separate “break days” that occur every other week from February 18 through April 13. That updated calendar is available for you to preview on our website.
This new model will also help mitigate a trend with positive COVID-19 cases that many small colleges have experienced. Our data shows that new positive cases most often arise after students travel off campus or interact closely, for greater periods of time, with acquaintances beyond campus. We believe this new model accounts for those concerns in a thoughtful and reasonable manner.
Some large classes have been divided into smaller sections. Many courses are being moved to larger spaces that allow for physical distancing.
Virtual classes will be run in various different ways, depending on the subject matter and other factors. Some will have a synchronous component (that is, some sessions will be held at the same time as in-person classes). Others will have an asynchronous component (which could include an interactive zoom-based discussion session, some recorded materials, etc.).
One-on-one meetings with faculty are a basic part of the Ursinus educational experience. Faculty are discouraged from meeting students in-person in their offices, since most are not large enough to maintain COVID spacing. Instead, faculty will meet with students for office hours in small classrooms, on the sets of outdoor chairs the college is posting, and/or by phone and virtually.
Members of the class of 2021 whose plans for a Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 internship have been disrupted by COVID-19 may petition the Academic Standards & Discipline Committee to waive the Independent Learning Experience (ILE) requirement. In some cases, it will be best to seek a Spring 2021 internship instead. Rising seniors should discuss this possibility with their academic adviser and the office of career and post-graduate development. Petitions should be sent to Kelly Sorensen, associate dean of the college Students granted a waiver may be required to enroll in a one-credit Spring 2021 course about career and post-graduate development.