Fall Course Delivery Update from UHV President Bob Glenn
Hello Jaguar Family,
As we approach the new semester, I know there is growing concern about what we will be doing about fall classes. I wanted to reach out and let you all know that we have been hard at work ensuring the best possible experience for you this academic year. Of course, the world is still not quite “normal,” so we have made some important adjustments that we need to tell you about.
To keep you all as safe as possible while also offering you an engaging educational experience, we have implemented new methods of course delivery that will provide as much direct contact between instructors and students, as well as between students, while still keeping you safe.
The types of classes that will be offered this fall are:
Hybrid – These classes will include some campus presence. Faculty members will break the class into smaller groups with each group meeting one day a week. All classes also will be streamed through Microsoft Teams. This will allow those who aren’t in class on campus that day to join online through the class Team during the scheduled meeting time. Teams sessions also will be recorded to offer access at a later time for those who are not able to be in class for any reason.
Real-time online – The faculty member and students will meet online at the date and time listed in the course schedule. Assignments and work will be done through Blackboard. These sections will have no campus presence, but they still offer real-time interaction in an online environment so you can see your professor and classmates. As with Hybrid, these class sessions will be recorded to offer access at a later time for those who are not able to connect with the class at the scheduled time.
Traditional online – These will be traditional online courses. They will be conducted through Blackboard with no regularly scheduled face-to-face component.
The registrar’s office is working to clarify our new system in the course offerings and Peoplesoft so you soon will be able to identify the type of course by looking online.
Please note that two of the three types of classes involve no campus presence, and the one that does will be conducted in such a way as to ensure social distancing. For those who choose this mode, you must wear a mask at all times and maintain a safe social distance from others. Hand sanitizer stations have been added throughout campus, and we will encourage frequent hand washing.
For those of you who choose to join us on campus, we also are establishing a UHV COVID-19 Operations Center to coordinate campus contact tracing. This center will be used to identify cases and contacts so that we can stop disease transmission as quickly as possible. Of course, this will all be done in a way that respects your privacy.
Our residence halls will be open to residential students, regardless of what format they chose for classes. We recognize that we have students who do not have access to housing options other than to live on campus. Even if the situation dictates that we move all classes to online, we will keep the residence halls open to our students who need it. For our international students, I want to point out that the regulations issued late last week have been rescinded as I indicated in my message earlier today.
I will end by saying what I have said before. Our overriding concern is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We will not make any decisions that place you in the position of having to make a choice that you fear will jeopardize your health. The Executive Committee is monitoring the situation daily. We are monitoring the current rise in cases in our area. The Executive Committee consensus is that we can continue at Phase 2 this week since the exterior doors to all buildings remain locked, wearing of masks is required and supervisors retain the authority to allow individuals to work from home if it serves the best interests of the staff. Any staff member who has concerns can work with his or her supervisor to make the best decision.
We ask for your patience as we move forward. None of us can accurately predict what will be happening in our community in the coming weeks. We are moving from point to point in the safest way we can, but that requires very small steps and that keeps us from saying precisely what we will be doing next fall, next month, even next week. I know you are anxious, as we all are. I will continue to provide you with the best information that I can. As always, if you have questions, you can contact me directly. Thank you for your patience.