Fall 2020 Calendar
The fall semester will begin as scheduled with the first day of classes on Monday, August 31. For more details refer to the UVM Academic Calendar 2020-2021
|Aug 31||Monday||First day of classes|
|Nov 24||Tuesday (close of business)||End in-person instruction for undergraduate courses for semester|
|Nov 30–Dec 4||Monday–Friday||Last week of instruction|
|Dec 7–11||Monday–Friday||Final exam period - will be remote|
Students & Scholars
On-Campus & At-Home Options, Fall 2020
To meet the needs of all our students, we are offering two Fall 2020 semester options for undergraduate students.
1. The on-campus option: return to campus with a mix of in-person, online (asynchronous), and remote (synchronous) instruction.
2. The at-home option: remain at home with online/remote instruction.
The at-home option must be elected by July 15. Regardless of choice, there will be activities, programming, and learning community connections to ensure that students feel included in the semester.
Per U.S. government guidelines, international students in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status for Fall 2020 must be enrolled in one or more in-person courses for the duration of the semester. Hybrid courses meet the in-person requirement. International students who remain out of the U.S. may enroll in as many or as few online courses as they wish. International students, please see guidance from the Office of International Education for further information related to implications for your F-1 or J-1 status.
The global nature of this pandemic makes travel abroad risky on many levels, and we must therefore cancel all Fall 2020 study abroad approvals. You may defer to Spring 2021 or discuss study abroad in a future term with the Office of International Education.
With physical distancing being a public health imperative right now, some courses will be conducted remotely or with a mix of remote and in-person time. UVM will continue to support high-quality on-line/remote and mixed-delivery instruction by:
- continuing to partner with the Center for Teaching and Learning to create workshops for each mode of delivery
- creating a cadre of classroom producers trained on video streaming hardware to assist faculty in course delivery
- creating quiet spaces for students to participate in remote course delivery
- implementing a comprehensive classroom technology upgrade strategy to better support remote instruction
- creating technology-enhanced meeting spaces to reduce the need to congregate in one physical location.
We are implementing strategies and policies to address the needs of students with underlying health issues that ensures their continued enrollment, including remote course offerings. Efforts will be coordinated through Student Accessibility Services in partnership with the Colleges and Schools.
A classroom space-management plan assuring required physical distancing is currently being developed. We are identifying faculty preferences for mode of instruction for the fall, which deans/chairs will sign off on. These modes must be consistent with course learning goals and pedagogy and in consideration of having as many in-person courses as possible. Modes include online, remote, mixed delivery (students attend in-person once a week and participate via live stream on the other days), and in-person. We are also identifying and modifying non-classroom spaces for larger enrollment courses; examples include Ira Allen Chapel, Mansfield Dining Room, and conference spaces at local hotels.
Courses enrolling 150 or more students that cannot be accommodated in physical spaces will be moved to remote instruction. We are creating video streaming “pods” for faculty to live-stream remote lectures.
In-person classes will be assigned to spaces large enough to accommodate physical distancing requirements. Faculty will be assigned to a mixed delivery mode when it is not possible to move a course into a sufficiently large space. Mixed delivery mode will require a space with a capacity of half the course enrollment for Tuesday/Thursday courses and a third of the course enrollment for Monday/Wednesday/Friday courses. Streaming video and recording equipment will be added to selected high-use classrooms for mixed delivery.
Research is inherent to what makes UVM a world-class institution. Through the initial phase of the Covid-19 crisis, UVM researchers were able to continue a significant portion of the essential research activity. Taking specific Covid-related precautions, we’re beginning to move our full research agenda forward again, and many of our labs that were determined non-essential at the start of the Covid crisis are now operating again.
To minimize future potential disruptions, we are developing a system of risk metrics that allows for raising and lowering research activity while avoiding the complete shutdown of research activities. Research administration functions are being reviewed and protocols and guidelines established to build flexibility into operational procedures, particularly as they relate to remote operations. As well, we are clarifying the systems put in place to open and close labs during the past two months and codify them to allow for smoother internal operation. We are also producing a series of mentoring activities and guidance documents to minimize the impact of the shutdown on early-career faculty moving through the tenure and promotion process. Refer to the Office of the Vice President for Research website for more information on UVM research activities.