Course Schedule and Reopening Updates
Dear Golden Flashes,
Kent State University is working diligently to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff as we prepare to return for fall semester. We want to share with you some details about what campus life will be like when the semester commences.
We now know that many classes will be held remotely, while others will be in person. The number of in-person courses will depend on how we are able to best use our campus classrooms and learning spaces in accordance with physical distancing guidelines set forth by the state while prioritizing those courses where curriculum dictates in-person learning. At most we expect 40% of our courses will be in person and at least 60% will be remote/online.
Due to this decrease in classroom capacity, remote learning will likely be a noticeable component of your schedule, even for those living on the Kent Campus. The number of in-person classes versus remote classes that you will experience will vary depending on your major, class selection, class standing and campus. However, regardless of the method of instruction, your classes will be relevant, challenging and engaging. We are upgrading our technology to support our faculty as they engage with students in real and virtual classroom experiences. New technology in each classroom will allow students who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions to participate remotely in face-to-face classes. In addition, many faculty members who will be teaching remotely are participating in summer workshops through our Center for Teaching and Learning so they can prepare the highest-quality remote learning experiences for you.
We expect to have the revised fall course schedule completed and released the first week of July. You may have noticed there are some changes that have been made to your current class schedule, but decisions regarding whether your class will be in person or remote are not yet final. Some courses that currently are listed as remote will be offered in person. Some classes may be moved to a new location, others may be offered in a hybrid combination of remote and in-person classes, while others will be held through remote instruction. When remote classes meet virtually, they will meet at the same time they were originally planned. For those who have already registered for classes, we are working to minimize the impact on your class schedule as we finalize room assignments, meaning there will be few, if any, changes to the time your class is offered, even if it is changed to remote instruction.
After all the changes have been made, you will receive an email to your kent.edu account with your final course schedule. For those of you who have secured housing on campus, you will have the opportunity to change your decision once the course schedule is finalized. If, once you view your final schedule, you decide to not live on campus, you will be refunded your deposit. You will have until July 10 to make this decision and receive a refund on your deposit.
We know your course schedule and how your instruction is delivered are important. It is to us, too. Thank you for your patience as we work to ensure that we are maximizing the opportunity to deliver safe, in-person classes while enhancing our quality of remote instruction.
Even while some learning will be in the remote format, we know your educational experience will be greatly enhanced by being on campus, living in the residence halls, having the opportunity to meet and interact ─ in a safe manner ─ with fellow students and professors, using the university’s vast library collections to enhance study, participating in student organizations (student organizations will be permitted to meet while abiding by safety guidelines) and having opportunities for student employment. Even if many or all of your classes are remote, there will be ample opportunity to safely engage in an on-campus experience.
We are also working with the leadership of our undergraduate and graduate student government groups, as well as other student leaders, to ensure that the voices of students are intentionally incorporated into our planning for the student experience. A student-led group is being formed to advise university leadership on shaping an engaging experience outside of the classroom. More details are forthcoming about the work of this group.
Some changes to campus life are unavoidable as we want to make sure everyone on campus remains safe and healthy as possible; on the Kent Campus, our recreation center will be open with reduced hours and limits on capacity, and dining room seating will be reduced along with some menu offerings.
We also have adapted our fall calendar to eliminate the Fall Break, extend the Thanksgiving holiday break to a full week and convert to all remote learning for the final two weeks of the semester and final exams. These changes are all aimed at minimizing student travel on and off campus to curb the spread of the virus.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
We realize that, even with our most diligent adherence to public health guidance, cases of COVID-19 likely will occur within the Kent State community. Be assured, the university is coordinating with local health officials and is prepared to respond with contact tracing, testing and quarantine plans. In fact, an entire residence hall on the perimeter of campus will be reserved only for use by students who are living on campus and may require isolation. We are establishing a COVID-19 Watch Response Team to manage and trace the effects of COVID-19 on all Kent State campuses and to develop a system for students, faculty and staff to report cases of the virus or potential exposure.
In addition, we are investing in renovations to our University Health Services building so that we have on-campus COVID-19 testing capacity. We have a multitude of resources available for student health and wellness, and we encourage you to reach out, not just for COVID-19 concerns but for any physical or mental wellness issues as well.
We developed our Flashes Safe Seven principles to ensure that our entire university community will enjoy the safest and healthiest fall semester possible. Please familiarize yourself with all seven steps before the semester begins so that all Flashes are prepared to do their part to keep our community safe. Wearing a facial covering is the most important action you can take to stop the spread of the virus. We will provide you with two washable facial coverings. Details on how you will receive your facial coverings are forthcoming. Please become familiar with the proper usage of facial coverings and be prepared to wear yours this fall. Only you can protect the health of your friends, fellow students, faculty and staff, and ensure we all remain on campus for the most engaging experience.
REACH OUT FOR HELP
We are committed to making college affordable for you and your families. If you are experiencing financial challenges, there is help available. Please reach out to Student Financial Aid or the One Stop for Student Services at 330-672-6000. More information about these resources can be found on the Office of the Dean of Students’ COVID-19 Emergency Resources page.
In closing, please know that Kent State reopening committees, guided by experts in our College of Public Health, are committed to offering you the safest and best possible educational experience this coming fall. We will not relent until the threat of the pandemic no longer exists. Please visit our FAQs for answers to any questions you may have about the return for fall semester.
Our concern for the health and safety of our university community is matched only by our passion for ensuring your academic and educational success. Flashes Take Care of Flashes is not just our motto, it is our way of life at Kent State. Stay safe, and we’ll see you on campus in August!
Melody Tankersley, Ph.D.
Interim Senior Vice President and Provost
Mary G. Parker, Ed.D.
Vice President for Enrollment Management
Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Eboni Pringle, Ph.D.
Dean, University College