University Announces New Information About its Fall Reopening Plan
President Gregory Woodward sent the following message on July 10.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the University of Hartford just over six weeks from now. The last two months have been a whirlwind of activity as our faculty and staff continue to implement comprehensive plans for a safe reopening. It has been an inspiring period of hard work, reflection, partnership, and purposeful action. 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.
Over the next several weeks, we will share detailed information about schedules, move-in, housing assignments, health and safety guidelines, and more. In the meantime, I am pleased to provide several high-level updates on our fall opening:
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.
Academic Calendar and Class Schedules
As a reminder, we made changes to our fall 2020 academic calendar in the spring. Additionally, your class schedule will be emailed to your UHart email address over the next several weeks. On your schedule, you will see several types of classes listed. We have created a blended approach to academics for the fall and are offering classes in a variety of formats:
In Person: 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 that 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. For example, The Hartt School is developing fall performance programming that will also allow students to be more focused on required courses, while preparing for even more robust intensive performance experiences during the spring semester. Other academic departments are brainstorming and solidifying creative solutions to labs and experiential learning opportunities.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. In the coming weeks, more educational resources will be available for you to be prepared for academic success this fall.
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 will be finalized by the end of July. Students will receive an email with their fall housing assignments, and further information about residential life will be forthcoming. Additionally, 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. You can see a cost breakdown on our website. We know your residential life experience is extremely important to you and we sincerely thank you for your patience and flexibility.
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare to return to UHart this fall. I know you still have questions and I encourage you to check your email regularly for updates with additional information on these topics and others between now and our reopening. You can continue to find our latest updates at hartford.edu/fall-opening. If you have immediate questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email COVID19@hartford.edu.
I am looking forward to seeing you on campus soon. Stay well!