Dear Students and Families,
Throughout these past several weeks, we have continued to define our University’s plans for a safe, in-person reopening this coming fall. We all look forward to safely being together again on campus.
Our priorities for reopening remain centered on two critical concepts:
- Protecting our community’s health, safety and well-being
- Upholding our mission to deliver academic excellence, with modifications required for health and safety
Late last week, New York state released its official guidance on the restart of higher education. Confirming our compliance with the state’s expectations, we are pleased to share with you the following updates for fall.
These plans build layers of safety for our students, faculty and staff, offering the most effective approach for reducing risk to our community.
Academic Calendar 2020-2021
A number of local, regional, and national health experts expect the risk of a second outbreak of COVID-19 to be greatest following the Thanksgiving holiday. To decrease this risk, a task force of representatives from the Office of the Provost, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association and Graduate Student Council recommended the following adjustments to our 2020-
Classes will begin as scheduled on August 31, 2020. Following the University’s Thanksgiving break from November 25-29, all classes and activities, including those during the final examination period, will take place remotely. There may be some exceptions for critical activities such as clinical training that will continue in person after Thanksgiving. Students will be notified of these exceptions.
Abiding by state guidance to avoid large group gatherings, Adelphi’s Matriculation Ceremony will not take place this coming August.
Take a detailed look at the Fall 2020 calendar.
Flexible Classroom Experiences
This fall, our faculty will offer high-quality academic experiences through a variety of flexible formats. Recognizing the need to support all of our students’ academic experiences while accommodating varying individual health conditions, as well as our out-of-state and international students who may not be able to travel back to campus, our team of faculty and academic leaders have developed a schedule that offers mixed classroom setups.
To the extent possible, all classes will operate at a reduced capacity, and maintain six-feet social distancing.
Courses will be classified as one of four modalities, combining online and virtual learning with on-campus classroom instruction where it can be provided safely and when it is essential to the academic needs of the course curriculum:
- Traditional in-person courses (0-29 percent of coursework is delivered online, the majority being offered in person.)
- Hybrid/blended courses (30-79 percent of coursework is delivered online.)
- Online courses (100 percent of coursework is delivered online, either synchronously at a designated day and time or asynchronously as a self-paced, deadline-driven course.)
- Hyflex (Students may choose to attend either in-person or live-streamed sessions as desired; live sessions are also recorded, offering students the option to participate live, synchronously or asynchronously.)
For those courses offered as traditional in-person learning experiences, online sessions will be made available. You will be expected to attend and participate on campus, however, accommodations will be made on an as-needed basis for individual circumstances.
In a few weeks, you will be notified of your course classifications. A team of advisers will be available to personally guide you through any individual questions, concerns or modifications needed.
These options provide you with high-quality, intentionally designed educational experiences, support all learning outcomes, reduce density on campus, and create equitable, flexible learning opportunities. Our Information Technology team will continue to survey student technology needs and provide solutions where barriers are identified.
We recognize that several students, faculty and staff may be more vulnerable, identifying with one of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) categories for increased risk of severe illness.
Vulnerable community members should consult the CDC’s extra precautions and speak with their designated Adelphi official and healthcare provider.
If you are a student who falls into one of the CDC’s categories for increased risk, you are encouraged to contact the Health Services Center. Reasonable accommodations will be made on an individual basis.
Expanded Move-In for Residents and Redesigned Residence Halls
Our Office of Residential Life and Housing has extended the move-in schedule to allow our residential students space and time to comfortably set up their home on campus. Beginning on August 22, 2020, our residence halls will be open and available for move-in.
Residence hall directors will assign all residential students a unique move-in time during the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. across the nine-day period prior to the start of classes, to ensure social distancing.
Our team has implemented a variety of modifications to assist in safeguarding our residential community’s health and well-being, including the following:
- Residential capacity has been reduced by 10 percent to support social distancing.
- Students residing on campus will be required to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan Agreement, including a commitment to follow all safety guidelines.
- Residents will be required to complete at-home testing prior to returning to the residence halls. We will share more details about the testing process for residents in the weeks ahead.
- Our residential staff will be trained on all CDC guidelines, assisting in the creation of a safe residential environment.
- Visitation in residence halls will be restricted to ensure that exposure risks are minimized.
- Face masks will not be required of residents when in their individual rooms. When in common areas, residents should maintain proper social distancing and use face coverings as added protection.
- Students will be asked to depart and leave their residence halls on or before Wednesday, November 25, 2020, just prior to the Thanksgiving break. Room and board costs (housing and meal plans) will be prorated for the Fall 2020 semester, reflecting the early semester departure following Thanksgiving.
- Students unable to vacate their rooms prior to Thanksgiving break will be allowed to remain until the semester’s end with approval from the Office of Residential Life and Housing and their residence hall director. Additional charges for room and board (housing and meal plans) will apply. Students remaining in the residence halls between November 25 and December 21 will be required to complete COVID-19 testing at their own expense.
Our residential students can expect continued programs and activities with fellow residents, following all CDC and New York State Department of Health guidelines for reduced density and social distancing. Our residential experience will continue to ensure opportunities for personal growth, cultural exploration and interaction with peers and staff.
Establishment of a Health and Wellness Office
Offering a robust approach to the health of our community, Adelphi has established a comprehensive Health and Wellness Office. This visible team will be essential in helping to protect our community’s public health and offering support services. The Health and Wellness Office will provide expert guidance across:
- Student health (in collaboration with our Health Services Center, Student Counseling Center and Student Access Office)
- Employee health
- Wellness activities
- Public health and education
Health, counseling and psychological services will continue with a variety of formats in the fall, including in-person meetings, virtual services and telecounseling appointments.
With your health, safety and well-being in mind, we anticipate the following necessary precautions as daily requirements this fall:
- Daily symptom monitoring: Through the AU2GO mobile app, you will be required to complete a short series of questions daily to monitor your health and any possible symptoms of being unwell. Your responses will be kept confidential, and will only prompt a private follow-up from the Health and Wellness Office if a risk is identified.
- Preventive safety measures:
- Face masks or coverings: Face masks or coverings must be worn by all individuals on campus when in classrooms, in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, hallways, lobbies, etc.). Additionally, disposable face masks will be provided at no cost to any student or employee upon request.
- Hygiene guidelines: Handwashing, sanitizer stations and frequent disinfecting of campus spaces will remain critical components of our fall return.
- Social distancing: Six feet of distance must be maintained at all times. In instances where this distance may not be feasible, face masks or coverings will be required. Additionally, group gatherings, including events and meetings, are encouraged to be held virtually. Necessary in-person gatherings may not exceed size restrictions provided by state guidelines, which may evolve and will be monitored and updated as needed.
- Precautionary tracking: The Health and Wellness Office will work with our local Nassau County Department of Health, which will provide trained contact tracers, minimizing the risk of any rapid spread of illness. In the event that a positive case of COVID-19 surfaces within our community, rapid contact tracing will allow for timely notification and immediate self-quarantine of those exposed to the virus. In accordance with health privacy laws, only potentially exposed individuals will be contacted by tracers as needed.
We do anticipate preliminary testing to take place for certain populations, including our residential students, international students and athletes, through self-administered saliva testing in partnership with Vault Health. Details, once finalized, will be shared in the weeks ahead.
Modifications to Dining on Campus
To ensure social distancing, we will be adjusting our dining services to accommodate enhanced grab-and-go dining options and socially distant seating. While details are still being confirmed throughout our dining facilities on campus, we do expect the following modifications:
- Redesigned seating layouts and capacity restrictions
- Increased grab-and-go options and elimination of self-serve food stations in favor of served stations
- Availability of pre-packaged condiments, utensils, napkins and cups for diners, removing common stations
- Cleaning and sanitizing of tables after each use
Student Life on Campus
Our Division of Student Affairs is looking forward to welcoming you back to campus. Ensuring our ability to serve all students, including those who may be vulnerable or unable to come to campus, we anticipate a hybrid of student life offerings this fall, including both in-person and virtual events, activities and services for students.
In order to ensure proper health and safety protocols are met, you can expect the following:
- Gatherings will be limited in size to abide by state regulations, and may be reduced further for added protection.
- Virtual meetings and events will be encouraged this fall.
- Proper social distancing of six feet will be required at all times.
- Protective face masks and coverings will be required of all participants during events and meetings.
- Our Interfaith Center will follow state guidelines for religious organizations and, similarly, our Center for Recreation and Sports will follow state guidance for gyms.
Student life, including clubs and organizations, recreational activities, student gatherings, career services, support services and more, will continue to play an important role in the Adelphi experience.
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
Housekeeping teams have prepared enhanced daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols, based on CDC and New York State Department of Health guidelines, as well as Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) protocols. Cleanings will take place with increased frequency for campus buildings, common areas, high-touch surfaces, offices and workspaces. In addition, the following can be expected:
- Our facilities team will maintain hand sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops and high-traffic areas.
- All faculty, staff and students will be encouraged to wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after individual use with readily available products that meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface.
- Individuals will be encouraged to sanitize laptops, cellphones, telephone headsets and any other personal devices daily before entering Adelphi facilities.
We’ve prepared a document that outlines Adelphi University’s Facilities Housekeeping and Custodial Services cleaning and sanitizing protocols for all campus buildings, rooms, offices, common areas and high-touch surfaces.
Things You’ll Notice on Campus
This fall, you’ll notice a number of changes designed to protect the health of our community. Relying on the guidance of our local and state public health officials and Adelphi’s teams for public health and safety and infrastructure and operations, we’re planning for the following adjustments this fall:
- Six-foot distance markers, to help everyone follow social distancing protocol, at select locations
- One-way directional signage in walkways and stairways, to minimize close contact in confined spaces, at select locations
- Hand sanitizer will be readily available in all common spaces (e.g., lobbies, lounges and classrooms).
- Important safety signage, to remind our community of recommended hygiene practices and the importance of symptom checking
- Plexiglass barriers, to provide added protection for employees and students, at select locations
In addition, to ensure maximum safety for our community, we will continue to implement personal protective measures, social distancing, thorough disinfecting and cleaning procedures, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) improvements and more.
Personal Responsibility of Our Adelphi Community
These changes will require difficult but necessary adjustments in personal behavior and responsibility. The policies shared here and those still to come will help us maintain a safe learning and working environment for all students and employees.
We expect that all community members will:
- Wear a face mask or covering at all times when in public spaces and unable to social distance from others.
- Maintain physical social distancing of six feet or more, whenever possible.
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Ensure regular use of hand sanitizer in between handwashings.
- Cover one’s mouth and nose if coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid participation in gatherings larger than stated guidelines and where social distancing cannot be maintained.
In order to ensure the safeguarding of our health and that of all our Adelphi family members, it is up to each of us to engage in appropriate health and safety measures.
Open Forums With Our Planning Teams
We have planned an open forum on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. to offer you the opportunity to learn more about plans for fall and ask any questions that you may have. RSVP details will be shared in the weeks ahead.
Our fall approach offers a thoughtful, flexible set of offerings and thorough measures to safeguard campus and public health as well as the Adelphi experience. We will monitor the latest research and best public health practices and adjust our plans when needed.
All current guidelines and information will be shared online and updated regularly at restart.adelphi.edu. As we adapt to these new realities and prepare for possible unknowns that lie ahead, we will continue to take a thoughtful approach to problem-solving. Your input and questions are welcomed at executiveleadership@adelphi.
I look forward to seeing many of you in the fall and will continue to update you in the weeks and months ahead.
All the best,
Christine M. Riordan, PhD