This message was sent to all undergraduate students, faculty and staff from Dr. Don Raber, provost.
PC Undergraduate Students,
I hope everyone is doing great and enjoying the last few days and weeks of summer. I know many of you will be arriving on campus this week, and others will be joining us next week. Classes start in just two weeks, on Monday, August 17. Dr. Smith sent some reminders your way last week about our First Day Ready process, and Reagan Osbon ’21 shared with you the #ProtectPC Pledge and a video about everyone doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here are some other items for you to know as we prepare the 2020-2021 academic year:
The academic calendar for the fall term that you find in BannerWeb is out of date. Do not rely on it until we let you know and have it fixed. The dates you need to remember are:
- Classes start on Monday, August 17.
- We are exploring extending the drop-add deadline to Wednesday, August 26. If that is finalized and approved, I will let you know.
- The last day of fall term classes is Friday, November 20. We are exploring extending the withdrawal deadline to this date as well. If that is finalized and approved, I will let you know.
- Fall term exams will be held from Sunday, November 22 to Wednesday, November 25.
- I will communicate any other changes to dates or academic policies as they are considered or approved by the faculty. For those of you returning to campus, there are no plans at this point to extend the pass/fail options adopted the faculty for the spring 2020 semester.
- Faculty have been working with me to finalize their plans for teaching this fall – whether classes will be held in person, in a hybrid model, or fully online. One of the incredible strengths of our faculty is their flexibility; another is their creativity; and the most important strength to me is their commitment to you and your success as students. More than 95% of their teaching plans have been finalized and discussed with me, and I have asked them to share those with you starting today.
- It is important that you watch for emails from the faculty this week outlining their plans: many classes will be in person, and many more will be in hybrid form. Roughly 10% of our classes will be completely online, as individual faculty have been approved to teach in that fashion, but there will be a good mix of hybrid approaches that reflect flexibility, creativity, and the commitment PC has made to in-person instruction for the fall semester. I encourage you to contact your faculty members if you have not heard from them about teaching plans by this time next week.
- Given that we believe an environment where we encourage as much personal, face-to-face interaction between faculty and students is a hallmark of a PC education, we are not offering a model for students to take all classes online, nor are we expecting faculty to teach all classes online.
- You may have seen other schools delaying the start of classes, beginning all classes online and then moving to in-person instruction, or offering alternatives to do classes either in-person or online. Again, there are no plans for these steps at PC: classes will begin as planned on Monday, August 17.
- I have had inquiries about attendance policies, and what students should do if they have symptoms of any illness and cannot attend class. If you have symptoms of an illness, the best advice I can give is: don’t go to class. I am encouraging faculty to be very flexible, both at the individual level and in departments, about attendance, but those policies are set at the departmental level. I encourage you as students to keep in regular contact with faculty if you have questions about specific class policies or syllabi.
- In classes, you will need to do what is required related to the use of masks, face coverings, physical distancing, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). There will be hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes across campus, and a small number of classes will be shifting locations (and even meeting outdoors).
Later this month, we will publish the college catalog for this upcoming academic year. We will have in a section in the catalog that highlights the changes to the academic experience for the year, and we will also highlight there the expectations we have for you as you begin your studies. In providing this information to you in the catalog, there is one change from what we sent last week: we are not pursuing at this time a separate acknowledgement of risk form that you will need to review and sign.
As I’ve highlighted throughout the summer, we are continuing to work daily to finalize and refine our plans for the fall term. With only two weeks to go until classes begin, we will continue to update the PC website and your PC email regularly as we provide additional information. Until then, be on the lookout for communications from your professors, and we will see you on campus soon.