The School of Professional & Continuing Studies has announced its plans for offering degree program classes in the fall 2020 semester, plans aligned with the university’s priority of maintaining safe, meaningful learning environments for students and faculty. These plans are summarized below.

All SPCS classes for degree-seeking students will follow a modified academic calendar for the fall. While the semester will start on Monday, August 24, and end on Saturday, December 12, as scheduled, the following changes are in effect:

  • There will be no fall break.
  • Thanksgiving Break will be extended for an entire week, Monday-Saturday, November 23-28.
  • All learning, exams and projects will be completed online or remotely after Thanksgiving Break. 

Fall 2020 SPCS degree-program classes, which include those offered to educators for professional development, will be offered in online or hybrid formats that limit classroom-based meetings. Standard face-to-face classes that meet weekly in classrooms will not be offered for the fall.

SPCS continues to follow the University’s lead in planning for the resumption of limited face-to-face instruction. The University is known for dynamic face-to-face instruction in small classes organized around robust discussion, group problem-solving, and personal faculty attention. The plans outlined above and detailed in recent messages from President Crutcher and Dean Wilson seek to prioritize the health and safety of the community while retaining the best of our instructional models.

Classroom experience

All in-person class sessions will be assigned to a classroom that allows for appropriate physical distancing. Some classes will need to be rescheduled to provide an appropriately sized room. To that end, the University will convert many campus spaces that have traditionally been used for other purposes to academic classrooms.

For classes that have scheduled in-class meetings, we’re finalizing remote participation options for students who are high risk for COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, or have individuals in their households who are high risk for COVID-19. More information will follow as those options are finalized.

Physical Distancing Framework

One key aspect of the University’s resilience planning is a physical distancing framework and summary (links require netID and password). It provides staged requirements for all key aspects of campus life. Color-coded from red to green, the framework allows physical distancing protocols to be relaxed as the situation improves. The implementation of the framework will correspond, generally, with the Governor’s Forward Virginia plan. We will notify the campus community as we move carefully and deliberately through the stages of the framework based on the conditions and needs of our campus community.

Face coverings

Effective June 3 and until further notice, the University requires faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors on University property to wear a cloth face covering in University buildings, classrooms, common areas of residence halls, and in outdoor settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. We will procure additional face coverings for faculty, staff, and students for the fall, and students will be required to wear face coverings in the classroom if public health circumstances require, following the guidelines of the Physical Distancing Framework.

Planning for fall

The fall schedule of SPCS degree program classes will be available for preview beginning Wednesday, July 1. Registration will open on Wednesday, July 15. To prepare for registration, current students should contact their advisors to plan a course of study.

Other SPCS classes and programs

Plans for fall 2020 SPCS professional education and lifelong learning classes, which include Think Again and Osher Institute classes, are still being finalized and will be announced soon.

We will continue to update the SPCS COVID-19 response page to announce important changes.