Baylor Undergraduate and Graduate Students:
I am so excited to welcome you back to campus this fall as we return to on-campus educational instruction. I have missed our students so much.
As we plan for fall, be assured that we will be providing you with a Baylor-quality educational experience with as many face-to-face courses as possible. Safety precautions – such as plans for 6-foot physical distancing in classes – will require us to offer some courses in new and creative ways, including hybrid and online courses. This will not impede your progress toward your degree, and you will receive a transformational Baylor education regardless of the format in which your courses are taught. Please also keep in mind that your experience with online courses this fall will be quite different from what you experienced in the spring, when we made the rapid transition to online course instruction due to COVID-19. Over the summer, we are making substantial investments by outfitting our classrooms with the latest lecture capture technology while providing additional professional development opportunities for our faculty. These steps will ensure that your fall semester at Baylor is as rich and meaningful as any that you have experienced so far.
One change that could impact you as a current student is the reorganization of the Fall 2020 Schedule of Classes to accommodate distancing within physical classroom limitations. I ask that you please read the following information carefully regarding the fall class schedule.
With the reorganization, Fall 2020 class sections have been scheduled through the following instruction types:
- Face-to-Face: These sections will appear with assigned days, times and meeting locations, just as you have seen with regular campus-based sections in the past.
- Hybrid: These class sections will combine the use of in-person class meetings and online instruction components. Students in these sections should expect to meet in-person at least once per week during the scheduled times. Instructors will designate how students will be divided across the meeting days each week. These class sections will be notated as “Hybrid.”
- Online: Instruction will occur online and categorized as either synchronous or asynchronous.
- Synchronous: These sections will include specified days and times for instruction for which students should plan to be available for class participation online. These sections will be notated as “Synchronous Instruction.”
- Asynchronous: These sections will not include specified days or times. These sections will be notated as “Online.”
Please log in to BearWeb beginning this Sunday, June 7, and carefully review your individual class schedule for any changes that may have occurred with the reorganization and make any necessary or desired changes. You may also find it helpful to refer to the Schedule of Classes during your review.
As you review your fall schedule, please keep in mind the following:
- When you log in to BearWeb, you should have the same courses in your individual schedule as those you registered for in the spring. We continue to offer our standard rich array of undergraduate courses just as we have for decades.
- As you review your schedule, you will be able to see the delivery format for each of the classes for which you have previously registered. You may prefer either more or fewer of one type of instruction for the fall, and that may differ from the instructional delivery in your current schedule.
- Given the complexities of our fall planning, it’s important that you check your schedule carefully for any changes in meeting times that may result in conflicting times for class meetings and/or change in instructional delivery.
- Review any sections for which you have been waitlisted to determine if you still wish to consider registering for these sections.
- You should plan to resolve any time conflicts and make necessary or desired changes in your schedule in BearWeb. If you do run into great difficulty, you can reach out to your academic advisor for assistance. Please be patient as our advisors work to respond to you in a timely manner.
In our planning for fall, I want you to know that we will always place the health and safety of our University community – and that certainly includes you – as our highest priority. We are carefully monitoring guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the state of Texas as we work to address the safety of all Baylor faculty, staff and students. We are prepared to relax or restrict our policies and practices based upon the most recent guidance that has been released.
In addition to 6-foot social distancing in classes, steps we are currently considering for your safety include:
- Virus testing and contact tracing,
- Regular and enhanced cleaning of all University facilities,
- The possible wearing of face coverings on campus as appropriate given the latest guidance from the CDC, and
- Residential options to account for COVID-19 isolation, to list a few.
As you can imagine, these plans are complex and ever-changing as new information is received from health authorities. Nevertheless, we will be ready to welcome you back to a safe and intellectually enriching campus when August arrives. In the meantime, be sure to check your Baylor email for additional updates as we get closer to the fall semester.
I hope you have a safe and healthy summer, and I look forward to you returning to campus this fall!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.