After teaching completely online since March 2020 to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitchell Hamline is planning some on-campus instruction this summer and hoping for more in the fall.
Dean of Students Lynn LeMoine and Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs Jim Hilbert sent an email to students March 17 saying the summer class schedule would be posted soon and that, in addition to distance options, there would be a small number of courses containing a mix of on-campus and remote participation and others taught entirely in person.
“Of course, the summer plan is contingent on continued improvement in containing the transmission of COVID,” the email says. Assuming vaccinations continue to increase and public health indicators continue to improve, on-campus instruction is expected to expand in the fall. “We are currently building the fall semester with two objectives: 1) to maximize the number of on-campus offerings we can and 2) to provide as many different options as we can,” said LeMoine and Hilbert. “We are getting much closer to being able to get together again.”
The text of the email is below:
We are writing to update you further on our planning and decision-making process for summer and fall classes. Since our last update, there have many positive developments, and we are excited that we have more options to consider even for this summer.
We hope to have the summer class schedule posted later this week. Registration is tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday, March 29.
Courses this summer will be offered in the following formats:
- Online. These are asynchronous, fully online courses that count as distance education courses. There are no set meeting times but there are regular assignments and optional office hours.
- Remote. These are synchronous courses that are fully remote (through Zoom) with regular class meeting times. Students must be able to participate in all class meetings. These courses do not count as distance education courses.
- HyFlex. These are courses that will likely have some mix of on-campus and remote participation with regular class meeting times. You can choose whether to participate in these classes entirely remotely or to participate on-campus to the extent possible. There will be two enrollment options, fully remote and on-campus. Note that depending on the size of the class and whatever distancing restrictions are in place at the time of the course, you may have to participate remotely for some or all classes even if you enroll in the on-campus option.
- On-Campus. These are courses that we intend to offer entirely in person, if possible. There is no remote option so enrollment numbers will be capped at a low number until we are able to add more students based on distancing restrictions. If you can’t participate in person, you cannot register for the On-Campus courses.
We are only offering a small number of courses in formats #3 and #4 for the summer, but we intend to expand the number of on-campus offerings (both HyFlex and fully On-Campus) to the extent we can for fall semester. Given current vaccination rates, we are preparing to offer as many on-campus options as possible. We will also continue to have some Remote classes available this fall, too, and provide as many choices for you as we can.
We are currently building the fall semester with two objectives: 1) to maximize the number of on-campus offerings we can and 2) to provide as many different options as we can. We hope to have more information about the fall semester in the coming weeks, including details on Prep Weeks and Capstone Weeks in the Blended program. We are still planning to hold registration for the fall semester after finals.
Of course, the summer plan is contingent on continued improvement in containing the transmission of COVID. But week by week we are getting more good news about the efficacy of vaccines. As supplies steadily increase, our confidence is also growing that every member of the Mitchell Hamline community who wants a vaccine will be able to get a vaccine within a few months. Vaccinating a high percentage of the community is the key to our ability return to normal operations, so we encourage you to get a vaccine as soon as you are eligible.
As we get closer to fall registration, we will hold forums on Zoom to share what we know and are planning (and to answer questions).
Thank you again for your patience and understanding. We are getting much closer to being able to get together again.
Lynn LeMoine Jim Hilbert
Dean of Students Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs