Streamlined Fall Academic Calendar
We will start the fall semester two weeks earlier than originally planned, replace our fall mid-term break with several mid-semester study days and end the fall semester by Thanksgiving. This change is motivated by the need to reduce exposures from students’ travel away from campus and back for fall and Thanksgiving breaks. Move-in days will be August 14 for new students and August 16 for returning students. The first day of classes will be August 18. At this time, we have not changed our spring semester academic calendar.
Flexible Teaching Formats
As we return to in-person classroom instruction, we are planning accommodations for students and professors who will not be able to be physically present due to individual health concerns. Class sizes will continue to be small and classrooms will be adjusted to allow for physical distancing. This plan will enable us to continue to offer the rich educational experience we are known for, while also recognizing that we will need to be flexible, constantly monitoring and managing the risks involved.
This summer our faculty have been hard at work updating all the fall courses. They are designating their courses into one of four teaching categories that will be noted on the class schedule on MyGC, so that you know what to expect about contact and attendance expectations. One distinction is how much of the course happens during the designated course meeting time, called synchronous, and how much occurs on your own schedule, called asynchronous.
The four teaching categories are:
- F2F (face-to-face): course meets only in person on-campus, with all content supported by Moodle. This is reserved for courses like laboratories that use specialized equipment or practicums where students are doing applied learning. Students studying remotely for the full semester will be limited and may not be allowed to take these courses.
- Hybrid: some synchronous attendance F2F on campus, all content contained in Moodle. Larger classes may be split up so that some students are meeting on campus one day (Tuesday) and another group meets on campus another day (Thursday). I think that most courses will fit in this category and will be flexible for remote students.
- Remote: some synchronous attendance via Zoom, all content presented and contained in Moodle and NO on-campus face-to-face (F2F) meetings. A few courses will use this design and provide more flexibility for remote students.
- Online: asynchronous attendance with all content presented and contained in Moodle. We have only a few courses in this category, but they do offer the most flexibility for remote students.
If a shift to online is required, it will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods. We will continue to use the course meeting times for any synchronous components while providing some flexibility for students who are in other time zones.
Remote Learning and Academic Supports
We have created an option for a full semester of remote learning for select students this fall. This option is available if students are unable to be physically on campus this fall due to specific COVID-related circumstances, such as: 1) having one of the CDC high risk medical conditions, 2) living with someone who has a CDC High Risk health condition, 3) supervising children doing remote learning, 4) being an international student unable to return to the U.S. in August, or 5) being unable to wear a mask or face shield for health reasons. We expect these situations to be rare; however we want to support students if they are in one of these circumstances.
Applications for the above options will be reviewed by the Academic Dean’s office. Please first read the steps to take before requesting remote learning. It is very important to talk with your academic advisor or the registrar’s office to consider the impact of remote learning on your schedule and plan of study. After approval, we will notify you, your advisor and professors. We will work with support services and Student Life to ensure that you have the resources that you need. Requests for full semester remote learning must be submitted by August 10, 2020.
Faculty Prep and Training for Online and Remote Learning
To help faculty prepare for fall semester, recorded tutorials on pedagogy and technology have been posted to an Online & Hybrid Development training course in the Goshen learning management system (Moodle). Topics include recording video for flipped and hybrid classes, best practices for online communication, and holding discussions in Zoom or Moodle. The Course Development Institute, a four-day workshop focusing on backward course design, was offered twice for faculty. A Moodle workshop on equity, diversity and inclusion was also available to faculty this summer.
There’s no question that large groups singing together is just not a thing we can do regularly in the present phase of the pandemic. There will be possibilities for smaller music ensembles, certain instruments playing together and individual instruction, but it will be different and we’ll learn how to adapt.
- Orchestra will rehearse strings only, in person, with face coverings and 6′ spacing. An additional possibility is to organize wind/brass players into chamber ensembles that rehearse on their own or virtually.
- Choirs will begin online, rehearsing through Zoom and could record some of those pieces as part of a virtual concert that we could present to the public. There may be the possibility of meeting in smaller groups using physical distancing and the possibility of outside rehearsals while it is still warm outside.
- Private lessons: Piano and strings are planning to have regular in-person lessons, with physical distancing and wearing a face covering required. Lessons in voice, brass, woodwind, and possibly composition will be virtual. We will set up 4 practice rooms, with appropriate safety protocols, specifically for students requiring Zoom lessons.
- Recitals: For noon and degree recitals we can do this via live stream, with the possibility of smaller audiences that follow physical distancing protocols.
- Lavender Jazz: Individual jazz improvisation solo projects, virtual improvisation coaching sessions (3-4 sessions for each individual), assignments based on student’s experience, jazz improvisation project selected as final project to record, and develop collaborative small combo projects for recording final project.
The Theater Department will present a virtual performance during Homecoming. The mainstage this fall will pick up and expand on the work from Spring 2020’s production of Cymbeline. More information is forthcoming for this exciting Shakespeare event. There will also be opportunities to work on student-led projects, including scenes for the Fall 2020 Directing class. Auditions will be held in August. If you have questions or are interested in getting involved onstage or behind the scenes, contact Anna Kurtz Kuk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Off-Campus Internships, Clinicals
Students will work directly with their academic advisor and department chair to address placements for internship experiences. This will vary for each department. Students can also work with the Career Networks office for an off-campus internship.
The department chair for nursing has been working closely with our partners at Goshen Health and Beacon Health to plan for the required clinical rotations and ensure that our students will NOT be working with COVID-positive patients. We are also using nursing simulation experiences to replace some of the clinical hours.
The Good Library hours will be as normal (M-TH: 8-midnight; F: 8-5; Sat: 1-6; Sun 1-midnight). There is normal access to all the materials in the library. You can also pick up items from the library with minimal / no contact. We will offer online and in-person ASK desk services. Some chairs and sofas have been removed, and other furniture has been rearranged to promote social distancing. Partitions will be provided for small group study. Each area will have “capacity” restrictions. There are 6-foot boxes around popular areas, such as the copy machines and the circulation desk. In addition, services from staff will be conducted with physical distancing wherever possible. Certain computers in the lab, newsnook and ASK Desk room have been taken offline, to de-densify those spaces.
>> Get more information here: libraryguides.goshen.edu/coronavirus
Convocations and Chapels
We have planned a full line up of excellent programs for convocation and chapel that will be delivered online or, in a few cases, in small-group discussion format. Our priority for convos and chapels this year is to build community and connection. Everyone on campus is encouraged to participate in 12 events (the normal chapel/convocation requirement); however, for the fall semester, we will not track attendance. Seniors with chapel/convo deficiencies are invited to communicate with the registrar to make a plan to address this.
>> Schedule: www.goshen.edu/chapel/
Due to the global nature of the pandemic, it is still difficult to plan for international travel. However, immersive intercultural learning is more important now than ever. We have cancelled the Spring SST unit to Ecuador; however, we are moving forward at this time with plans for international study in May Term and Summer 2021. Though the summer 2021 Ecuador unit is full, there are still spots available in the Senegal unit (which requires two semesters of college French, fall and spring). You can also sign up for China (Fall 2021) or Indonesia (Spring 2022). Experiential and immersive shorter term options in the United States and locally are also available next year (see this flyer for options). We are developing a yearlong Global Public Health Virtual Practicum with Mennonite Central Committee partners and will run the local SST “Dreams and Journeys: Immigrants and Refugees” in the spring if there is enough interest. Please contact Jan Shetler (email@example.com) if you want to explore any of these or other options from outside providers. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore global citizenship up close.
Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center
Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College is following the framework and guidelines of the main campus. In addition they have developed their own detailed management plan, including how they will manage illness that might occur and keeping students, faculty and staff safe. They will continue to offer outdoor experiences and welcomed a new residential cohort of graduate students in the Masters in Environmental Education program in July 2020.
At this time, Merry Lea plans to offer the Sustainability Leadership Semester in the fall as an in-person experience. If this changes, they are creating online resources to offer the same courses in a remote manner. The instructors are committed to provide students with a rich and meaningful experience in either case.