Marymount California University will welcome students back to campus for the fall semester with a blend of in-person and online courses, as well as an adjusted academic calendar.
“We are relying on the best health and safety guidance available to steer our plans for the new academic year and believe a return to campus can be done in a way that minimizes risks to our community,” said President Brian Marcotte. “Whether students join us on campus or from afar, we are committed to providing a quality, experience-rich education for each and every one of them in a way that is both safe and rewarding.”
Many upper division courses and some labs will be held online while general education, psychology, criminal justice and most lower division business classes will be conducted in-person or in a hybrid fashion. Hybrid classes will meet in person once a week in sessions of no more than 15 students to allow social distancing. Online courses will be a mix of synchronous (live) and self-paced.
“These are times of opportunity that enable us to bring fresh approaches to our work in keeping with the demands of a new era. As educators, we can meet students where they are, inspire their growth and equip them with the skills to navigate a complex society and evolving job market,” said Provost Ariane Schauer. “I’m proud of how we’re utilizing technology in a way that supports learning, collaboration, flexibility and a safe environment for both our students and faculty.”
Faculty members have been asked to prepare both online and in-person versions of courses, enabling a quick shift, if needed, depending on conditions on campus and in the community.
A revised calendar eliminates the fall break and shifts in-person classes to remote learning after the Thanksgiving break, with all remaining instruction, final projects and exams to be completed online to curb any possible spread of the coronavirus through holiday travel.
Additionally, MCU’s residential townhouse-style Villas will be single occupancy, offered at the lower double-room rate.
Online events will continue, though some in-person events may be permitted in August. Marymount also plans to participate in all sporting events during the 2020-2021 school year, but likely with no spectators at least early in the season. Intercollegiate competition is expected to begin Sept. 5.
The new protocol
Students can expect changes when they return to campus on Aug. 24, including physical distancing requirements, daily health self-assessments, face coverings, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, hand sanitation stations, plexi-glass partitions in common areas, more outdoor seating, and signage of new health and safety procedures.
Led by the university’s emergency operations task force, these actions are part of a reopening plan to ensure that health and safety guidelines are in place and can be followed by those on campus. The committee is also surveying work spaces and classrooms to determine potential changes needed to technology, traffic flow and work schedules.
“Some of the best minds at the university are working on this, and I have been truly impressed by their commitment and passion. This is the kind of challenge that rallies the MCU community to be its best. And by providing for multiple scenarios, we will be ready should circumstances change,” Marcotte said.