A Caring Classroom
Our goal has always been to provide small class sizes to help our students receive the personal attention needed to succeed. The academic experience for the 2020-21 year will look different for each of us, but our focus on your safety without sacrificing your academic experience will not waver.
Courses this fall will be designed to deliver both in-person and online curriculum to accommodate students and faculty who are not able to be present due to health concerns or classroom capacity limitations. Courses with synchronous online components will be delivered on the same day and time as the in-person course is scheduled. All synchronous course delivery is to be recorded and made available to registered students unable to attend.
In order to support online access for your courses, we have outlined the minimum technology requirements.
Faculty and instructors teaching in the physical classroom are required to wear face coverings (such as a mask or face shield) while teaching. In situations where instructors can remain more than 10 feet from others, the instructor may remove their face covering.
For classes where the classroom capacity limits would be exceeded by the total attendance, instructors will identify and assign students to small cohorts for in-person class attendance on a rotating basis. Each classroom will have signage indicating the capacity limits.
At the core of Concordia’s academics is the strong mentorship and advising that supports every student throughout their academic journey. The commitment of faculty and first-year coordinators is key to our students’ success. Advising appointments will continue throughout the semester with the following modifications:
- Appointments with faculty advisors must be scheduled (no drop-ins).
- First-year coordinators should encourage appointments. However, drop-in appointments are permissible in situations where physical distancing and face coverings can be maintained.
To ensure proper physical distancing and accommodations for safety protocols, computer labs will be reorganized to allow proper spacing between computer stations. Computer labs will be supervised while during open hours and cleaning will involve wiping down (not spraying) keyboards and mice.
Safety in the Classroom
To maintain physical safety for all the students and professors in the classrooms, all desks and workstations will be disinfected. To maximize the disinfectant's effect, it should be applied and let sit without wiping away for 10 minutes. For all classrooms, the professor teaching the last class prior to daily chapel will be required to use the disinfectant per the written instructions accompanying the disinfectant at the end of class. Buildings and Grounds will do another application in the afternoon. The disinfectant is available to be used at any time in each classroom.
When in class, students are required to wear face coverings.
In efforts to provide adequate attendance and record tracking for contact tracing, students will have designated seats in each of their classrooms.
At-risk faculty members may request reasonable COVID-19-related accommodations in their faculty duties (such as teaching fully online or providing virtual office hours) through their college Dean. Backup instructors will be assigned by the deans and substitute teaching plans for all classes will be created by the instructor. Employees are to be cross-trained to provide backups for specialized equipment use or program needs.
Off-Campus Learning Experiences
A key element to the Concordia academic experience is equipping our students through high-impact opportunities, such as off-campus learning experiences. We encourage these to be available where the health and safety of all in attendance is prioritized. Faculty who plan to offer such an experience, including, but not limited to—field experiences, field trips, student teaching, student group trips, internships, practicums, study tours, study abroad—will need to coordinate with their Dean and provide a written plan accommodating for all pertinent university and state health measures. These written plans must be approved by the Provost and shared with all students and others in attendance.
We continue to face a challenging situation requiring each one of us to make a good faith effort to be flexible and to make decisions in the best interest of the community. In light of this, the Provost’s Office, with the endorsement of the Undergraduate Council, will continue to temporarily suspend the usual Academic Policy Handbook rules regarding instructor authority in setting attendance policies. For the Spring 2021 term, the campus-wide attendance policy for in-person, dual-mode, hybrid classes and final exams is as follows:
Students who should not attend class are those who are: a) sick b) experiencing symptoms of COVID19; or c) engaging in self-quarantine at the direction of their local health department, their health care professional or the CUNE Health Center due to COVID19.
Students who are in one of the categories above must:
- Notify instructors in advance of the absence;
- Notify the Health Center that they are sick, experiencing symptoms of COVID19, or that they need to self-quarantine due to COVID19;
- Keep up with classwork and attend each class virtually via their instructors’ respective Blackboard Collaborate Rooms; and
- Remain in contact with their instructors and advisor regarding their status, and work with their instructors to try to reschedule exams, labs, and other critical academic activities.
Students will be expected to attend an in-person class unless:
- The student has a Remote Instruction Request approved by the Provost and Director of Student Life; or
- The Student Life Office has documentation of an illness, COVID19 symptoms, or the need to quarantine due to either those COVID19 symptoms or a positive COVID19 test and excused them for in-person attendance; or
- The instructor has granted the student permission to attend virtually due to an unforeseen circumstance such as attendance at a funeral, care of a family member, or other situation where the student cannot attend due to a circumstance out of the student’s control.
Unless a student meets one of the criteria above to attend virtually, the student must attend class in person, including final exam sessions.
This temporary campus-wide policy puts everyone on their honor. It requires that faculty and instructors trust the word of their students when they say they are ill, and it requires that students report the reason for their absence truthfully. The usual codes of conduct and rules of academic integrity are still in place.
During this period, we ask all members of the University community to be attentive to their health and safeguard others by following the Concordia Nebraska COVID-19 Health & Safety Code of Conduct.
A Caring Community
Resources for Students, Faculty and Staff
Concordia promises students, faculty and staff a supportive, grace-filled community of caring peers, mentors and leadership. Guidelines and resources are available to help us mitigate the spread of illness on campus so we can work and learn as safely as possible.
A Caring Campus
Resources for On-Campus Experiences
With safety as our priority, new protocols will be implemented throughout all of Concordia’s facilities to help limit the spread of illness across campus as much as possible. By increasing sanitization protocols, following physical distancing measures and limiting building capacities, you can be assured to feel as safe and healthy as possible, no matter where you are on campus.