Dr. Dale updates campus on fall 2020 plans

July 17, 2020

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The opening of a new academic year always brings a sense of excitement, challenge, opportunity and growth. This year will certainly be all of that, and more. As we approach the beginning of the year, we do so with a sense of cautious optimism and with the spirit that has guided this university for more than 150 years.

Clarion University will begin the fall 2020 semester one week early. The semester will run Aug. 17 through Dec. 4. When students leave campus for Thanksgiving break, they will remain home or wherever they are staying over the break. Finals week will be conducted remotely. The fall calendar was amended to minimize spread of COVID-19 by keeping students off campus spaces after interacting with family and friends during the holiday.

The guiding principal for the fall 2020 plan is, first and foremost, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Clarion community. We must work to balance this with the need to continue to deliver the education that is nationally recognized and Clarion Proud.

Our planning process for fall began as soon as our spring 2020 semester ended. I have appointed a cross-functional team representing all areas, including the student voice, to examine each function of our university. The 20-plus members of this group meet each Monday to review plans, ask tough questions, and build a plan to deliver the semester safely. I thank them for their continued diligence.

This fall will not look like any other fall. We remain in a pandemic caused by a novel virus. Our plans will evolve as we learn more, and we will do our best to keep you informed. Please view the information below and visit clarion.edu/fall2020 for updates.

We must be flexible and resilient. We must take care of ourselves and each other. We must, and we will.

Wings Up,

Dr. Dale

Academics
We will provide a high quality college experience while maintaining the safety of our students and employees.

  • Most face-to-face classes will be delivered in the originally scheduled modality.
  • As needed, classrooms have been fitted with cameras, lapel microphones and monitors to enable remote teaching and/or learning.
  • To facilitate physical distancing, some face-to-face classes may use hybrid (combination of face-to-face and online) instruction.
  • Enhanced student support services will assist with issues related to modified instructional approaches such as online or hybrid courses. These services will be available online/remotely.
  • Faculty members will have scheduled office hours for advising and meeting with students; individual faculty members will decide if they will be in-person, remote or a combination.
  • Instructional spaces will undergo increased cleaning and sanitization.
  • At this time, we are not anticipating interruptions to clinical rotations, placements, internships, externships or co-ops. Please contact your instructor or advisor for the latest information.
  • Fall 2020 student teachers will begin Monday, Aug. 17. Students will work with their university supervisors to begin completing PDE competencies prior to the opening of field placement sites. Detailed information has been sent to your Clarion email by the Office of Field Services. Questions can be directed to ofs@clarion.edu or 814-393-2144.

Health and Safety
Clarion University will follow CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines.

  • COVID-19 screenings and testing
    • Center for Wellness will coordinate self-screening of students prior to their arrival on campus.
    • Students, faculty and staff must self-assess for symptoms daily.
    • Students are advised to inform the Center for Wellness or Student Affairs of a positive COVID-19 test result or an illness that could be COVID-19 related.
    • Center for Wellness will ensure that students exhibiting symptoms are:
      • Tested.
      • Quarantined and/or isolated if needed.
      • Monitored for physical and mental health status.
      • Provided services and referrals as needed.
  • Face masks
    • The university will provide two reusable masks for each student and employee.
    • Masks are required unless individuals are alone in a room, eating, drinking or exercising, or when it interferes with required curricular activities.
    • Students who cannot wear a mask can request an accommodation through the office of Disability Support Services. Employees should contact Human Resources.
  • Physical distancing
    • Physical distance of six feet must be maintained between all individuals.
    • Physical distancing does not negate the need to wear a mask.
    • Classrooms have been evaluated and arranged to meet physical distancing guidelines.
    • Classes in locations that cannot accommodate physical distancing guidelines have been relocated to a location that can.
    • Common areas have been evaluated and arranged to meet physical distancing guidelines. These include:
      • Eagle Commons
      • Study lounges
      • Computer labs
    • Floor decals have been installed to promote physical distancing.

Housing/Dining
The university has followed a thorough cleaning and sanitization process in campus residence buildings and Reinhard Villages.

Housing

  • Housing occupancy will be limited to no more than two residents of a unit per one bathroom.
  • An extended, staggered move-in process will minimize the number of students and accompanying family members moving into a housing unit at one time.
  • Residence hall staff will receive ongoing education regarding state and CDC health and safety guidelines.
  • Safety measures will emphasize physical distancing and a clean environment; signage will communicate health and safety protocols.
  • Education and training on cleaning, health and physical distancing will be provided.
  • Common areas have been evaluated and arranged to meet physical distancing guidelines.

Dining

  • Meal plans will start Aug. 10.
  • Chartwells, the university dining services vendor, is working with the university to:
    • Decrease density levels in dining facilities.
    • Provide grab-and-go options for students.
    • Provide touchless services where possible.
  • Eagle Commons employees will serve food to students at the various stations.
  • For more information, visit www.dineoncampus.com/Clarion.

Transportation

Student Life

  • University events will be limited to those that comply with necessary physical distancing standards in terms of the number of individuals in attendance, ability for physical distancing, use of masks and other precautions. No events will be held without clear plans approved by the university as meeting those standards.
  • Visitors
    • Visitors to campus are restricted to entering buildings and areas where they have a business/academic need.
    • Casual visitors will be limited to the University Book Store and Starbucks.
    • All visitors will be required to follow health and safety guidelines, including physical distancing and wearing a mask.
    • Areas where visitors are routinely expected (i.e. admissions and student financial services) will be provided a supply of disposable masks for visitors who do not have a mask.

Athletics

  • The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference voted Tuesday, July 14, to suspend all mandated conference athletic events and championships through the fall semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Conference has already undertaken a full review of its ability to shift fall sports competition and championships to the spring semester and fully intends to do so if a return to competition can be safely executed.
  • Student-athletes will be permitted to participate in skill and strength training, and scholarships will be honored. Please contact your coach for additional information.

Bands and Choirs

  • All band, choir and theatre classes are continuing, but with practices in small groups and with social distancing and face shields/masks worn (as possible). Performances, should they happen, will be virtual (streaming).
  • Marching Band is, by nature, is a performance class. Up to this point, we had been committed to hosting fall band camp and offering performances in the stadium in some capacity; however, following the decision made to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, we believe the band must follow suit to ensure the safety of its members as well. To maintain the academic integrity of the marching band class, to sustain the growth of the band, and to foster the energy of this performing class, we will:
    • Continue to offer marching band as a fall 2020 class (MUSA 136). Physical distancing protocols will be strictly enforced with small sectional practices and larger group Zoom practices when necessary. Guards and majorettes can practice in small groups.
    • Honor scholarships for all marching band participants following successful completion of the marching band class.
    • Cancel band camp.
    • Cancel all live performances at the stadium for the fall semester. A spring performance is not feasible due to weather and conflicting class schedules.

Student Financial Services

  • Work study will resume in the fall with appropriate physical distancing. Please visit the JobX site for open positions.
  • For financial aid and student account questions, please visit our Tuition & Fees page.
  • View the Tuition and Financial Aid FAQs.
  • For information on scholarships, please visit our Scholarships page.
Last Updated 7/17/20