The Fall 2020 semester: Academics

Update from Provost's Office  July 31

On August 1st, the REVISED fall 2020 schedule will be available through Your Connection. This revised schedule reflects two main changes, the modality of each course (face to face, A/B or A/B/C, hybrid, remote, and online), and the revised class location and new meeting time, which allows, when possible, for a 20 minute transition between classes.

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Students will be able to view the updated modalities of their classes by utilizing the concise student schedule feature in Your Connection. Please note, if there is a campus building and room location listed, the course has a face to face meeting requirement. A course with a location of Remote Instruction will be meeting remotely at the specified time and day. A course with a location of Internet Based Course will be taking place entirely through asynchronous instruction via OnCourse. 

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Students can make adjustments to their schedule to ensure that they have the right mix of courses and modalities. Classes begin August 24, and students’ schedules can be changed online until August 28. Please refer to the academic calendar for additional information.

Students should consult with their assigned academic advisor or the Office of Academic Advising if they have any questions or need assistance in reworking their schedule.

Please note that Fredonia is implementing a number of precautions to enhance student safety, including moving courses to larger classrooms to allow for increased social distancing, requiring masks be worn in all buildings and classrooms, and increasing cleaning of learning and activity spaces.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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We are excited to welcome you to campus for the fall semester!

 As you know COVID-19 has dramatically impacted all aspects of life including higher education. Last spring students and faculty scrambled to complete the semester remotely, and high school seniors were dismayed over the abrupt and premature end to their final year of high school. I am writing to highlight the results of our academic planning efforts and to provide resources that will keep you up-to-date as we move toward the fall semester.

 Although we are encouraged by the state and local response to the pandemic, we realize that the academic experience this fall will continue to be impacted by the ongoing health crisis. Despite the uncertainty and ongoing challenges ahead, you can take comfort in the dedication of your professors and support staff who are committed to your academic success at Fredonia, and dedicated to ensuring that Fredonia provides a safe and healthy learning environment.

As previously announced, Fredonia’s Reopening Plan was approved by SUNY. A link to the approved plan is available on our “Returning to Fredonia” webpage. A steering committee and three subcommittees are adding details to the plan and additional information regarding living on campus, dining halls, and other student life activities will be forthcoming. 

 I would like to update you on the efforts of the Office of Academic Affairs and Fredonia’s faculty and staff to get ready for the fall 2020 semester. 

 Among the key changes this fall:

  • In order to minimize travel and COVID-19 exposure for our students, faculty, and staff, we have modified our Fall 2020 calendar. Classes will begin on Monday, August 24th, Labor Day holiday and fall break have been eliminated. Face-to-face instruction will end on the Friday before Thanksgiving (November 20). The final week of classes and final exams will be held remotely. Please check the calendar on the Registrar’s website.

  • Many classes will be separated by 20 minutes rather than the usual 10 minutes to decrease congestion in hallways, accommodate teaching and room assignments, and give faculty time to set up classroom technology.

  • We are reviewing all classroom assignments and will be moving classes to larger rooms to reduce density and increase safety.

  • The campus will follow CDC and SUNY guidelines to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. For example, facial coverings will be required in all buildings and classrooms, and whenever safe social distancing cannot be maintained. Cleaning and disinfection protocols will be in place.

Importantly, we have diversified our teaching modalities to increase safety and decrease classroom density (see below). We will be offering more remote and online classes, and we are adopting other teaching strategies to ensure a sound and safe learning environment. Specifically, classes will be designed in one of these five learning modalities:

  • Face-to-Face: The class meets as scheduled in a classroom for every class meeting. Preference for these courses will be given to “activity” courses, labs, studios, etc., freshmen and senior seminars and courses where the majority of the population are freshmen.

  • A/B or A/B/C Model: Half or a third of the students meet as a class while, at the same time, the remaining students join remotely (and synchronously). Synchronous delivery refers to students meeting as a class at the same time.  Students are assigned days they will attend in-person. Each instructor will assign when each student will meet in-person. Preference is given to overfilled labs and other activity courses that require large capacity rooms to maintain social distancing. This option may be necessary for courses that require specialized equipment that cannot be moved. 

  • Hybrid: The course schedule is modified to meet the entire class in-person half of the scheduled time, and then remote instruction is scheduled for the other half. The instructor will identify a synchronous schedule within the assigned time and plan for asynchronous activities and assignments to support learning. Asynchronous delivery means that content will be posted in OnCourse and deadlines announced. Items will be completed by the student on their own time as long as it is within the deadlines. 

  • Remote: All course materials are developed and provided digitally using OnCourse as home base for all interactions. This includes both synchronous and asynchronous materials. Students will be joining remote classes synchronously at the time identified in the course schedule, as advertised in Your Connection. Lectures will be recorded for students who have valid, excused absences and will be distributed at the discretion of the instructor. There will be no in-person meetings, only scheduled, virtual meetings.

  • Online: Online courses have all materials posted in OnCourse to be completed asynchronously by the student within the set deadlines of the course. In this mode there are no scheduled face-to-face or remote meeting times.

While meeting time and classroom location updates will be made to courses over the next two weeks, final class schedules, including teaching modality, will be available after August 1st. Class schedules will be based on student need, the unique requirements of classes (e.g. labs, performance, or didactic lecture), and the safety of students and faculty. Class schedules can be found in Your Connection. Information about A/B and A/B/C courses can be found in OnCourse.

Needless to say this fall reopening information is subject to change as new information, guidance and/or direction is received from SUNY and the Governor’s office. Be sure to check the Fredonia website for updates and answers to Frequently Asked Questions about preparation for the fall.

Thank you again for your support, patience, and understanding of the challenges presented with reopening the campus and creating a safe learning environment. I look forward to seeing you in August.

Kevin P. Kearns

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


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