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Academics

Academic calendar
  • In a May 28 campus-wide memo, President Hanycz shared news that the Fall 2020 semester will begin Aug. 17. Other important dates in the Fall 2020 academic calendar have also shifted.Please consult the links below for more information:
  • Highlights:
    • Traditional 16-week semester, beginning Aug. 17, 2020, and concluding Nov. 25, 2020.
    • Certain programs and smaller terms have new/different start and end dates
    • Labor Day. Classes will be held Monday, Sept. 7.
    • No fall break.
    • Exam dates for the Fall 2020 semester: Friday Nov. 21; Saturday, Nov. 21; Monday, Nov. 23; Tuesday, Nov. 24; and Wednesday, Nov. 25 (morning only).
Instruction
  • To meet physical distancing requirements, classroom capacities have been lowered. As a result, some classes have been switched to a hybrid, staggered, or online modality.
  • The following guide will help you understand the delivery methods (Schedule Type) listed for the University’s courses:
    • Online refers to courses that will be delivered remotely and with no in-person component.
    • Hybrid refers to courses that will be delivered through a combination of remote and in-person instruction.
    • Staggered refers to courses for which classroom attendance will be staggered. In this model, students will be present for in-person instruction on select days of the week, as determined by their instructor(s). The instructor(s) may choose to lead part of a course in-person and remotely to separate sections of the same course.
    • Lecture, Lab, or Independent Study/Research refer to courses that will be delivered through face-to-face instruction in a classroom setting. Attendance for these courses will not be staggered.
  • In-person and Blended (Hybrid or Staggered) Instruction
    • To allow for physical distancing requirements, on campus courses will include both in-person and remote components. Depending upon the size of the classroom and the number of students enrolled in the course, students may be assigned to attend in-person classes on specific days or times and participate remotely on other days.
    • Students who are unable to attend classes due to illness or the need to quarantine, or who request and receive remote learning as a reasonable accommodation, will be able to participate remotely.
    • International students will take at least one in-person class.
Classroom guidelines
  • The maximum capacity for each classroom has been adjusted and will be posted at the entryway.
  • Classrooms will be reconfigured and furniture will be removed to allow for adherence to physical distancing guidelines. In order to maintain physical distancing, students, faculty, and staff are not permitted to move, remove, or add furniture in the classroom.
  • In some cases, a separator may be installed to allow the faculty member adequate space and allow for physical distancing.
  • Certain classrooms will be updated to include simulcast capabilities.
  • Students will have assigned seating in each class. Faculty will be responsible for maintaining the list of assigned seats. This will help minimize the spread and assist with contact tracing in the event of a positive case.
  • When entering and exiting the classroom, maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance between you and anyone with whom you don’t live. This may mean waiting to enter or exit until others have cleared the doorway area.
  • Students, faculty, and staff are expected to abide by the personal health guidelines listed above while in the classroom.
  • Faculty reserve the right to refuse a student’s entry to a classroom if the student is not adhering to University guidelines, including but not limited to the wearing of a face covering over one’s mouth and nose.
  • Cleaning
    • High-frequency areas will be cleaned multiple times per day, given the availability of the spaces.
    • In addition, disinfectant spray and/or wipes will be made available for individuals to use before and after using a common space or classroom. Disinfectant sprays and/or wipes will be accurately labeled with the safety data and data safety sheets will be available. See the Cleaning section of this plan for full details.
    • If supplies are low in a specific area on campus, faculty and staff are asked to notify facilities management immediately through the maintenance request form on the portal.
Academic policies and expectations
  • An Academic Pandemic Response Policy (link to follow) is progressing through the University’s policy review process. This policy will include addendums to academic policies that will be in effect while the Academic Pandemic Response Policy is activated.
  • All academic-related policy adjustments will be vetted through the appropriate policy review process.
  • Attendance
    • Faculty should adjust their attendance policies to allow for student compliance with the Health Guidelines section of the return to campus plan, specifically, the directive to stay home when sick, and make this clear in their syllabi.
Off-campus experiential learning
  • Students participating in internships, clinicals, student teaching, etc. will follow La Salle COVID-19 guidelines and any additional requirements noted by our outside partner.
  • Students must use the following forms to elect a return to off-campus experiential learning. The form should reflect that this is not a waiver of the educational requirement. Students should consult their program to submit the forms and for additional guidance to ensure program requirements are being met.
  • Study abroad and service trips. There will be no University-sponsored study abroad, travel study, or service travel in Fall 2020.
  • Service learning projects or coursework
    • All service learning projects or coursework should be conducted virtually whenever possible. Exceptions should be approved by the area Vice President.
  • Students participating in class-related field trips and other experiential learning opportunities will follow La Salle COVID-19 guidelines and any additional requirements made by state and local governmental bodies as well as the host institution.
Visitors in the classroom
  • Visitors, including guest speakers, in the classroom will follow the Visitor guidelines in this document. Visits should be conducted virtually whenever possible.
  • When possible, we encourage any guest speakers to present their content remotely. Similarly, when La Salle faculty have been invited to serve as a guest speaker outside of the University (for example, at another university), we request that content be shared remotely.
  • In the limited situations where remote delivery of content is not feasible, ​​​​​​​faculty should notify their Dean of any in-person classroom visitors. This will be helpful for contact tracing should the need arise.
Preparation for Faculty and Students

The fall semester will include a combination of in-person and remote instruction. Faculty and students should plan and prepare themselves for a blended approach to instruction, as well as for the potential return to remote instruction, should a need arise due to COVID-19.

  • For faculty
    • The De La Salle Institute for Teaching & Learning and Instructional Design are offering a comprehensive set of courses, trainings, and workshops to help our faculty prepare for the fall semester.
      • Academic Affairs will be working with Faculty Senate to articulate suggested and/or required training.
      • Click Here for the Instructional Preparation operational plan (link to follow).
    • The Instructional Design Team is offering classes on:
      • Hy-Flex teaching
      • Canvas beginning and advanced
    • La Salle is recognizing competency in online/remote teaching as evident by past teaching performance and certifications from other institutions.
  • For students
    • Getting started.
      • Download the mobile versions of Canvas, Zoom, and OneDrive. These systems and platforms offer free downloads in the Google Play and Apple Stores, for both Apple and Android devices. They are also available through the myLaSalle portal. Also, be sure to download La Salle University’s mobile app for access to the latest information from the University. Access Office365 for Microsoft documents like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
    • Ask for help.
      • Students should stay connected with professors and ask questions, especially if academic support is needed. On the tech side, La Salle’s IT team is available to help. Submit a or email helpdesk@lasalle.edu with routine technology-related questions. Students can report more-urgent tech needs with a special prompt through IT’s phone system, at 215-951-1860.
    • Communicate often.
      • Students should check their La Salle email regularly, speak with professors about their available office hours, and stay connected with classmates, too, to motivate and guide one another.
  • Preparing for a return to entirely remote Instruction, if needed
    • In the Spring 2020 semester, the move to remote instruction came suddenly due to the impacts of COVID-19 on our region and beyond. If there is a resurgence of the virus locally that will require us to revert to entirely remote instruction, it will likely be on very short notice. Therefore, faculty and students should be prepared for this pivot to occur with 24-hour notices.