Dear Campus Community,
I wanted to provide you a brief update regarding an important step in our return-to-campus planning. As you can imagine, there are a thousand moving parts in bringing an enterprise like a university back to “normal” operations. However, a big piece is determining the fall academic calendar so that many other working groups can make their plans around that decision.
For the past several weeks, a group of our faculty and staff have been looking at a wide range of options for our fall classes. Should we be online, should we push the calendar up or back, should we consider a series of Express classes? All had pros, and all had cons.
The solution they have presented to me – and one that I agree is the best – is a hybrid approach that keeps our fall academic calendar intact, while eliminating Fall Break so that in-person instruction can end at Thanksgiving break, with a following week of online instruction and online exams. In order to not penalize those students who may have difficulty in a virtual setting, faculty will be instructed to design their courses so that meaningful assessment is done throughout the semester. And, of course, we have incorporated plenty of storm dates in anticipation of what may be a very active hurricane season. Here is a link specifically to the fall 2020 calendar: https://registrar.
This hybrid approach to the semester provides the best opportunity to safeguard our student’s, our faculty’s and our staff’s health and wellbeing while also allowing us to follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control. Our hope is that the hybrid semester will allow us to minimize the spread and transmission of possible infections, while still maintaining some semblance of the unique Charleston experience.
I want to thank both the steering committee and the Academic Planning working group (roster below) for all their hard work and counsel in shaping this academic calendar.
Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston