COVID-19 Update: Fall 2020 Student Course Information Request
July 1, 2020
Dear students and parents of Saint Louis University,
As President Pestello mentioned in his recent message, we write to share our plans for classrooms and experiential learning spaces (labs, clinicals, studios, etc.) this fall.
Please note that this email includes information about a survey to make sure your voice is heard so we can appropriately plan for the fall semester, whether you intend to participate in classes in person or remotely.
Our staff members are hard at work, scheduling as many courses as possible so we can offer a mostly in-person experience while still social distancing in classrooms. In addition to promoting health and safety, helping our students advance toward degree completion is a top priority for us.
To help make this possible, we have spent the past few weeks doing the following:
- Surveying faculty members to understand which course sections need to move online due to their health circumstances or other, special considerations.
- Freeing up event and meeting spaces with the help of Event Services staff to use these as classrooms.
- Identifying those spaces where required physical distancing may be challenging for students and faculty due to the nature of the course, such as some labs.
The next step in our scheduling process is to understand your needs.
Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey (link emailed directly to students) about your intention to return to either in-person or remote classes for the fall. We know there are many factors that go into this decision, whether it’s an underlying health condition, travel restrictions or other concerns. We need to hear from you by Friday, July 10. If we do not hear from you, we will assume that you are attending your courses in person, on campus.
We plan to meet the needs of our students, wherever they happen to be this fall, to the best of our ability. Know, however, that tuition rates will be the same for all course modalities.
Also, this survey does not include information about housing for the fall term. A separate message about our residence halls and on-campus apartments has already been sent to students who were planning to live on campus.
This survey data will help us with classroom scheduling so we can provide our students and faculty with their fall schedules by Friday, July 17. We plan to have specific course times, locations, and modalities for all courses listed in Banner by this date. As Dr. Pestello said in an earlier note, your current course schedule may change, but most course days and times are largely staying the same.
We are still working through our plan for labs and other experiential learning (e.g., studios, clinicals, etc.). These courses typically require specific spaces on campus, and some of these are not conducive to social distancing guidelines. We are working closely with local health officials to be sure we are taking appropriate precautions in these spaces.
We are making every effort to ensure students can continue attending labs and experiential learning courses, making progress toward their degree completion. However, due to the nature of a small number of courses, we may not be able to make these available online. We are working through alternative options for these sections (e.g., possible off-cycle lab sections), and will communicate them as soon as possible.
We want to close by mentioning that this will be Dr. Gillis’ final message as interim provost. The following message comes from Dr. Gillis:
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saint Louis University, and although it was shorter than I anticipated, I will always remember my time at SLU and the many wonderful students and parents I met along the way. I know I am leaving academics in the capable hands of our new interim provost, Dr. Michael Lewis.
Thank you and God bless,
Michael Lewis, Ph.D.
Chet Gillis, Ph.D.
Interim Provost, Outgoing