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Academic Decisions

The University community has come together in unprecedented ways to help us prepare to return to hybrid instruction this fall. Hybrid instruction combines in-person instruction, for those students who can be on-campus, with online for students who cannot.  In addition to promoting health and safety, helping our students advance toward degree completion is a top priority for us.

Fall Schedules /Classroom Scheduling

Course schedules are now available for students and faculty in Banner. These schedules include the days and times for all courses, specific campus locations, and the instructional modality in which the course is being delivered.  an An overwhelming majority of students have no more than two fully-online courses for the fall.

To help make this possible, we have spent the past few weeks doing the following: 

  • Surveyed faculty members to understand which course sections need to move online due to their health circumstances or other, special considerations
  • Converted event and meeting spaces to classrooms, with the help of Event Services staff
  • Identified those spaces where required social distancing may be challenging for students and faculty due to the nature of the course, such as our clinical labs
  • Surveyed students to understand their plans to attend their courses in person or online   

Course Schedule FAQs

Labs and Other Experiential Learning 

There are certain labs, practicums, performing arts classes and other experiential learning courses that SLU will not offer online in the fall. We understand the importance of our students progressing in their studies and are developing strategies for students to catch up by the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year to remain on track to graduate.  These include: 

  • Scheduling lab courses that are normally only offered in the fall during the spring semester, as available lab space allows.
  • Allowing students to take these courses at other institutions that meet SLU requirements.
  • Allowing students to continue the lecture portion of their course in the fall semester, without the accompanying lab section, where possible.

Revised Academic Calendar

The revised academic calendar for fall 2020 is now available. For the health and safety of our entire campus community, we are strongly considering holding classes on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 7). Fall Break will be held on a Tuesday. Key dates for the semester include: 

  • Aug. 17: Start of classes
  • Oct. 12-16: Mid-term exams
  • Oct. 20: Fall break
  • Nov. 24: Last day of classes
  • Nov. 30-Dec. 4: Final exams (online) 

Please note that certain schools and colleges at SLU (such as the School of Medicine, School of Law, School for Professional Studies, CADE and SLU-Madrid) have different academic calendars, so please check with your individual schools for specific dates. 

Updated Course Syllabi

SLU has implemented a number of public health safeguards to ensure the health of our entire community. Information about the safeguards will be included in individual course syllabi. For example, the Office of the Provost has developed a syllabus statement regarding SLU’s Interim Policy on Face Masks that will be required for all courses.  Visit the Office of the Provost website for course syllabus information.

Spring and Summer 2020 Semester Decisions

Academic Support for Students

Academic support will continue for the rest of the semester. Students will be able to use EAB Navigate to schedule online or telephone appointments with Academic Advising, Career Services, Disability Services, the English Language Center, Student Success Coaching, Tutoring, and University Writing Services.

Students can also contact specific offices directly via email. All academic support offices stand ready to meet student needs and provide expertise during this time of transition. 

Asynchronous Coursework

Faculty are strongly encouraged to engage in asynchronous instruction to the extent that they find it educationally appropriate.

In courses delivered asynchronously (either fully or in part), the instructor and the students do not meet simultaneously; however, students and instructors continue to interact regularly, and students are required to complete coursework at set intervals, including participating in-class activities, online discussions/chats, group projects, quizzes, exams, etc. 

For students who struggle to connect remotely from home, or whose technology fails them intermittently, or who are now back in a time zone that makes synchronous work difficult, asynchronous work can be most effective. 

Staff in the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning are ready to assist faculty in this transition.

Synchronous Coursework

If faculty are engaging their students in synchronous work at any point in the term, they must do so during their regularly-scheduled class meeting times – in the same time periods and same days as before the break. There are no exceptions to this. Asking students to meet at any other specified time will likely result in conflicts with other courses. We must “stick to the schedule” for synchronous work.    Faculty are asked to ensure that they record all of their lectures using either Zoom or Panopto – for easy and available access by students. 

Copyright Considerations

All SLU faculty may, for the remainder of the term, interpret the ‘fair use’ and ‘single use’ provisions of federal copyright regulations such that they may provide photocopied/scanned versions of textbook portions and other materials via Blackboard, e-mail, or a similar electronic mechanism. In keeping with the spirit of those regulations, faculty should restrict their electronic distribution solely to students for course purposes, and should distribute only what is absolutely necessary at a given time.  For example, distribution of a scanned chapter or selection of pages (vs. an entire book/article) is prudent when only that portion of a full work is assigned.

Exam Proctoring

We are actively exploring solutions for tools or services that enable the proctoring of exams administered in a distance format. Several of our colleges/schools already have such tools, and they are being supported in the expansion of their use, as needed. For other units, we are working on it as quickly as we can. 

However, we also know that our colleagues in the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning can help faculty modify their exams and other assessments in ways that mitigate concerns about academic honesty without software or external service agreements.

Repeating Courses

SLU’s policies governing repeating courses have not been changed. For more information on the existing policy, visit the Policies and Procedures-Repeating Courses webpage.

Specific Software Needs

Some schools/colleges have specific software needs for students, specifically software that is very processor-intensive or has specific security needs that are only available on campus. Deans and/or department chairs are encouraged to reach out to ITS to address their specific software needs.

Summer Courses

Summer 2020 courses will move to online delivery – with some exceptions. The courses available in Banner as of April 21 will be our final summer offerings. 

See the Provost's April 14 update for details

University Libraries

The Pius XII Memorial Library and Medical Center Library buildings are closed, but library faculty and staff continue to provide expert help to the SLU community via the web, chat, email, Zoom, and other online tools. For more information, visit the SLU Libraries website.

Transition to Canvas

After much consultation with key stakeholders, SLU has decided to postpone the transition of the University’s learning management system (LMS) from Blackboard to Canvas.

See the Provost's April 24 update for details