Quinnipiac releases its fall academic calendar

Students walk across the quad in front of the clocktower.

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uinnipiac University is looking forward to welcoming students, faculty and staff back for the start of the Fall 2020 semester. Subject to continuing and further guidance from the State of Connecticut and public health officials, the university is planning in-classroom instruction and an on-campus residential experience this fall.

As part of our plan, the university will implement slight modifications to its academic calendar for the Fall 2020 semester and will be using parallel delivery of both in-classroom and online classes. Its “Q-Flex” approach – delivering the same course using in-person and online simultaneously – will enable the university to continue to offer the high-quality academic learning experiences for which Quinnipiac is known, while maintaining careful health protections and physical distancing throughout the university community. University leadership also knows from research that this mixed delivery model of instruction can have very powerful learning results.

The Fall 2020 semester will follow the schedule below, unless changes are necessitated by the state or changing health conditions:

  • August 10 to 23: Quinnipiac is encouraging an “early drop-off” option for students living within driving distance of the university to drop off belongings in their rooms and return home. This will be a same-day, in-and-out drop-off without an overnight stay. This is not the move-in period. Advance sign-up will be required for preset time slots, and this option will be very helpful in reducing and spacing out the time and traffic involved with move-in later in August while supporting necessary social distancing.
  • Monday, August 24: Instruction begins for all residential and non-residential students. Students begin living in residence halls, with arrivals scheduled on a staggered schedule and accelerated by the early drop off of belongings by many students. Online instruction will be used the first week or two to support this staggered schedule and for the administration of state-required COVID testing of all students upon their return. (NOTE: Some non-residential graduate programs, such as Medicine, Law, Health Sciences and Nursing, will begin in-classroom instruction prior to Aug. 24, per Connecticut state guidelines for graduate students. Information will be provided separately to these groups.)
  • Monday, September 7: Classes will be held on Labor Day. All students will be participating in in-class instruction by this date, if not before, assuming that testing is completed for all remaining students. Further details will be provided in the coming weeks explaining how testing will be conducted and how students will alternate between in-class and online attendance in order to manage social distancing requirements.
  • Tuesday, November 24: On-ground classes conclude. Students depart for Thanksgiving break and will not return to the university after Thanksgiving break.
  • Monday, November 30 – Saturday, December 12: Fall classes, review sessions, office hours, reading days and final exams will be completed online.

The university recognizes that this calendar means students will leave Quinnipiac two weeks earlier than usual at the end of the fall semester. As a result, Quinnipiac is making the decision now to proactively reduce every student’s room and board cost by two weeks to reflect the shorter period on campus. Bills for the fall semester will reflect this reduction.

How Quinnipiac Is Preparing The Learning Experience This Fall:

Faculty and staff have been preparing for the mixed delivery of instruction in order to accommodate students’ safe return this fall. Teaching and student activities are being planned accordingly, coupled with changes to classrooms and facilities to manage density and meet physical distancing best practices. The university intends to deliver each course both in-person and online throughout the fall term, with students alternating their mode of attendance. This will reduce density in the classrooms while still providing a dynamic and engaging learning experience, with flexibility in case it is needed. Faculty are working intensively this summer with pedagogical experts to restructure their courses, incorporate even more innovative learning tools and strategies in their courses, and boost the potential of mixed delivery modes.

As previously communicated, several planning groups consisting of faculty, staff, health experts and university leadership are working to ensure that the university has anticipated every necessary facet of students’ return to campus in August. The fall schedule being shared today reflects best practices and current scientific understanding of the virus so that everyone can maximize three key elements at Quinnipiac:

  • the quality of our teaching in mixed modalities;
  • the richness of our students’ campus experience;
  • the safety of the entire Quinnipiac community as the university carefully implements safe practices in the face of COVID-19.

Quinnipiac will continue to communicate throughout the summer with more detailed information about each of these areas. Questions about the fall academic calendar should be emailed to our online Support Center at COVID19SupportCenter@qu.edu.

Throughout the university’s 91-year history, Quinnipiac has been nimble, innovative and bold. While COVID-19 has challenged us all and changed the world around us, it has not moved Quinnipiac from its purpose – as the university of the future – to prepare graduates for lifelong success in 21st century careers, as enlightened citizens and as leaders and contributors to local and global communities. The university cannot wait to welcome its students this fall and continue that journey together.