Fall 2021 Planning
Frequently Asked Questions
In the Fall 2021 Planning Webinar on Thursday, March 25, 2021, Provost and EVP Noel Painter and college, school and university faculty and staff provided updates on Fall 2021 planning for current and new students, housing, campus events and vibrancy, Summer 2021 courses and programs for current and new students, and end of year events and commencement information for current students and families. Highlights below.
Fall 2021 Planning
Steton University is in-person and on-campus for Fall 2021. The university will continue to offer some online courses to help support students needing a medical exception until vaccinations are widespread. After review by academic leadership and input from Safer Campus Task Force, the university is returning to its traditional academic calendar, with a Thanksgiving break and finals in December. The university is following CDC guidelines and moving to three-feet of separation in classroom facilities.
Residential Living and Learning announced for Fall 2021 that Stetson residential halls and apartments will return to double occupancy and the three-year residential requirement will be back in place.
Summer courses will remain online, but Stetson’s summer programs are typically online, and will include multiple opportunities for virtual engagement during the summer and summer housing will be available. New students will also have opportunities for either credit or non-credit summer engagement courses, programs and experiences.
Are there changes in housing?
Residential Living and Learning worked with the Safer Campus Task Force to assess fall opportunities so Stetson residential halls, apartments, and catalyst houses will return to double occupancy in the fall. In a “normal” year, the DeLand campus is the residential home to 2,054 students, and we expect that number to be close to 2,000 in fall 2021. In addition we will return to the three-year residential requirement.
We believe we are able to do this for a few reasons.
- The availability of the vaccine has been increasing and in Florida 18 year-olds are able to get vaccinated under state guidelines as of April 5, 2021.
- We know so much more about how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 after a full year of tracking and managing testing, cleaning, self-isolation and quarantine.
- Our students and community have been outstanding and have worked hard to keep the entire community safe and healthy.
Will there be more campus events?
After a full year of working with students, groups, clubs and organizations we have been able to create a safe and healthy environment within the existing guidelines and structure. As more and more people become vaccinated we will see more and more campus vibrancy, events and invite all the students to engage with us to make this upcoming Fall 2021 an absolutely incredible year!
Any change to the academic calendar?
The Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate studied potential options for confirmation of or adjustments to the Fall 2021 academic calendar for graduate and undergraduate students in DeLand. Their research included a survey distributed broadly to students, staff, and faculty, the results of which were considered in their final determination. In line with the committee’s recommendation, the academic calendar for all DeLand programs will not be adjusted. The calendar continues to include fall break (2 days), a Thanksgiving holiday, and both classes and exams on campus into December. The current 2021-22 calendars posted on the Registrar’s webpage are accurate.
Are course schedules changing?
The Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate also studied the benefits and disadvantages of the two class-time schedules that we have had in place over the past year: 1) a “normal” schedule with 10- or 15- minutes between classes, depending on the day of the week; or 2) an “expanded” schedule, with 30-minutes between classes and generally earlier or later class offerings. The committee considered the results of a broadly distributed survey completed and considering the input of the Safer Stetson Task Force as well as our facilities experts. In line with the committee’s recommendation, the class-time schedule for all DeLand graduate and undergraduate classes will not be adjusted. As such, we will implement a “normal” schedule for fall 2021; the class times that currently appear in course lookup are accurate.
Will Stetson still be doing classroom cleaning?
In response to the pandemic, Stetson has added considerable air purification adjustments to all Stetson buildings. As an added precaution, but primarily for community confidence rather than for safety measures, we included extensive sanitation of classrooms throughout the day this spring semester. Science continues to inform us that the virus is transmitted largely through the air rather than on surfaces, giving us confidence in our decision to reduce the time between classes when expanded cleaning would have occurred. Classrooms will continue to have thorough cleaning daily, and cleaning materials will be provided in every classroom for additional self-use by students and faculty as they deem appropriate. All persons in the classroom will be required to wear a mask in the fall term.
Are there changes to classroom capacity?
The primary barrier to accommodating more students in face-to-face instruction in fall 2021 is classroom capacity. With 6-foot social distancing in classrooms, the capacity of our rooms is greatly diminished, resulting in many rooms that can hold only a dozen students or fewer. To continue 6-foot distancing would result in increased use of hybrid teaching modalities (which is not preferred by most students and faculty) and more fully-online classes simply because we would not have enough rooms available. Therefore, with much consideration and given our growing confidence in COVID-19 mitigation efforts nationwide, we are setting fall 2021 classroom capacity at levels which represent having participants at 3-foot distancing. For most classrooms, the reduced distancing will restore full, or almost full, capacity as would have been the case pre-pandemic. Masks will still be required for all participants.
When does course registration start?
The evolution of our planning demands that we make some adjustments to course modality, course capacity, and course availability for the fall semester. In order to have the most accurate list of classes available at the start of the registration period, the undergraduate registration date is being delayed by one week, to begin on Monday, April 5 (instead of Monday, March 29). The registration schedule for graduate classes is unchanged.
Can I still take online or hybrid courses?
While most classes in fall 2021 will be face-to-face instruction (classes, ensembles, labs, and lessons), we will continue to offer a limited number of experiences in hybrid and online formats. Increasingly, we are aware of the benefit of such modalities to student learning and student flexibility. I expect that these modalities will continue to be a part of the Stetson education moving forward, well beyond the pandemic. But, as is confirmed day after day in my discussions with many members of the Stetson community, our core educational experience is borne out through relationships, and those are formed most powerfully in person and on campus.
What if I need to request remote academic participation?
Importantly, everyone recognizes that COVID-19 will still be with us in the fall term and that there will be students and faculty who will request approval for remote learning based on medical documentation for their increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Students: we will work with you diligently to ensure that you make progress toward completing your degree in a timely fashion; however, approval for remote learning does not mean that all classes can be taken in an online format. If you expect that you will be approved for remote learning in the fall, you should register for courses that are listed as fully online. In situations where a face-to-face course is required for you to make appropriate progress in your degree, students will need to work carefully with faculty and department chairs to ensure an outcome that works well for both the student and faculty.