Fall 2020 Opening Plan
UHart's Plans for Returning to Campus
We know our students are eager to continue their education at UHart and we look forward to starting the fall semester in person and on campus.
The University of Hartford is diligently working on fall 2020 scenario planning for our students, faculty and staff. We are innovating every part of the UHart experience—from the academic calendar to residential living—to provide options and access for the best and safest possible combination of on-campus and high-quality remote teaching.
We will continue to update this website with important information about our academic calendar, residential life and housing changes, and health and safety guidelines. Our plans, of course, are dependent on the ongoing guidance from the state of Connecticut and public health officials.
Life at UHart will look different in the fall – it has to – but we are committed to working together to act in the best interest of the safety and well-being of our entire campus community, while delivering an excellent student-centered educational experience.
Health and Safety
We are fortunate that health conditions have steadily improved in Connecticut after months of intensive control efforts implemented by state leaders. The state currently has among the lowest infection rates in the country. We anticipate that with the very clear and careful health guidelines and protocols we will implement, the preemptive precautions, the partnership of our on-campus health professionals at Hartford Healthcare, and the cooperation of our students and all members of our community, we will be able to secure a safe learning experience on campus this fall.
Some of the protocols and precautions include:
- Daily Health Screenings: All students will be required to participate in daily health screenings via our LiveSafe app.
- Face coverings: All students, employees, and visitors are required to wear face coverings when in public. This means when you are not in your personal living space, including in the classroom, you must wear a face covering. The University will provide every student returning to campus with one washable cloth UHart mask, but please plan to bring additional personal face coverings. Every effort will be made to supply face coverings as needed in various campus settings.
- Social Distancing: Academic facilities, dining halls, libraries, performance spaces, and other campus areas are being reconfigured to allow for social distancing of at least six feet.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting: Our facilities team will continue to perform regular intense cleaning of all public spaces. They will consistently disinfect classrooms, common areas, workspaces, and dining areas to help minimize transmission. Additional hand sanitizing stations are being installed across campus and ventilation systems are being updated with appropriate filters.
- Testing: In accordance with recommendations from state and public health officials, all residential students will be required to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test within 14 days of arriving on campus. In addition to the increasing availability of testing in communities across the country, the University is working with peer institutions and our health-care partners to offer additional testing opportunities. In the coming weeks, we will share additional details, including how to document a negative test result with the University prior to travel.
Classroom Format—A Blended Approach
We have created a blended approach to academics for the fall, offering classes in a variety of formats:
- Traditional in-person classes will meet at a specific time and place that is reflected on your schedule.
- Hybrid: These classes are a mix of in-person and online, depending upon the needs of the class. Some meetings will be in person, while others will be online, as determined by the faculty member. For example, if you have a Tuesday, Thursday course, the instructor may tell you that it meets in person on Tuesdays and online on Thursdays.
- Remote: These classes are fully online but meet at a specific time (synchronous).
- Online: These classes are fully online and do not meet at a specific time (asynchronous).
It is possible some of your courses will not be in the format you prefer. We are balancing our plan to offer in-person classes and experiences, with space constraints required by social distancing in the classroom and working with our faculty who have high-risk considerations or disability accommodations, to support your academic goals. Depending on your area of study, there may still be updates in development. Your school, college, or academic program will communicate specific plans in the near future.
We know that many of you are looking forward to in-person classes but that there are others who for various reasons are unable to or do not want to return to face-to-face learning. We will do everything we can to accommodate a remote learning environment for the fall semester should you choose to remain off campus. If you would like to learn more about the opportunities to study remotely this fall, please contact the Center for Student Success at email@example.com.
Class schedules will reflect the types of class formats listed above: traditional classes, hybrid, remote, and online.
- Returning/Current Students: Schedules wil be emailed to your UHart email address by the end of July.
- New Students: Schedules will be emailed to your UHart email address by the first week of August.
Any questions about your class schedule can be emailed to the Center for Student Success at firstname.lastname@example.org
- SATURDAY, AUG. 15–SUNDAY, AUG. 23: The University will offer an early drop-off period during the week leading up to the start of the semester for residential students who can easily travel to campus. This will be a same-day, in-and-out process to drop off belongings in rooms and return home without an overnight stay. Similar to our ongoing move-out process, advance sign-up will be required for preset time slots. This will allow us to accommodate testing requirements, maintain social distancing recommendations, and minimize traffic.
- MONDAY, AUG. 24–WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26: Students begin living in residence halls, with arrivals scheduled on a staggered basis. The early drop-off of belongings by as many students as possible will help to accelerate this process.
- WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26: Instruction begins for all students. Online instruction may be utilized during the first week to allow for move-in and the administration of state-required COVID testing of all students upon their return. Please note, some academic programs may begin in-classroom instruction prior to Aug. 26, per Connecticut state guidelines for graduate and select student populations. Information will be provided directly to these groups.
- MONDAY, SEPT. 7: Classes will be held on Labor Day
- TUESDAY, NOV. 24: On-campus classes conclude at the end of the day. Students depart for Thanksgiving break and will not return to campus until Jan. 17, after winter break. This schedule reduces the risks of virus spread during flu season; allows for a thorough cleaning of all campus facilities; and limits the possibility of students, faculty, and staff returning to campus after potentially being exposed to the virus during travel over the Thanksgiving break. We recognize this change means less time for students in our residential and dining facilities. As a result, we will proactively reduce room and board costs by two weeks. Revised bills for residential students will reflect this reduction.
- MONDAY, NOV. 30–TUESDAY, DEC. 15: Fall classes, review sessions, office hours, reading days, and final exams will be completed remotely. We recognize that Commencement is Dec. 15, and we will work with all graduating students requiring accommodations.
- WINTERTERM & SPRING 2021: WinterTerm will be fully online this winter, and will begin on Saturday, Dec. 26, and end on Friday, Jan. 15. The spring 2021 semester will begin as planned on Wednesday, Jan. 20, with residence halls reopening on Sunday, Jan. 17.
Housing and Dining
Our enhanced safety measures and commitment to strictly following social distancing and quarantine guidelines have led to capacity changes in our residential communities. Unfortunately, this means some housing assignments may have to change. We know these changes are not ideal, but they are necessary, and we all have a role to play in maintaining the strictest health and safety standards to keep each other safe.
Housing assignments: The Office of Residential Life will finalize housing assignments for returning students by the end of July. New first-year students will be notified by the first week of August. Assignment notifications will be sent via email.
Updates to billing statement: Because of the changes to our fall calendar after Thanksgiving break, billing statements will reflect a reduction in housing and dining costs for residential students. See the cost breakdown.
First-year students: Incoming students should refer to the residential life update sent via email on Monday, July 6 regarding housing opportunities for first-year students.
We know your residential life experience is extremely important to you and we sincerely thank you for your patience and flexibility. If you have specific questions, please email the Office of Residential Life at email@example.com.
Connections outside of the classroom—with friends, roommates, colleagues, classmates, clubs and organizations—are all an important part of the overall UHart experience. Our student life and success teams continue to research and develop new and exciting ways to further enable students to safely engage and interact with one another virtually and in person.
The University of Hartford has demonstrated the strength of our institution and the resilience of our community during this crisis. We have taken a phased approach to a complex and evolving situation, being thoughtful and informed in our analysis and decision making. Above all, we are working together to act in the best interest of the safety and well-being of our entire campus community, while delivering an excellent and student-centered educational experience. We will continue to share updates with our campus community as they become available.