We want to thank the students for the great job they are doing in adhering to the Safe Community Standards for Behavior relative to COVID19. We have been so very fortunate as a campus community, and it is due in large part to your responsible choices and cooperation with the protocols.
As we look ahead to the end of the term, we are excited to be thinking about the Spring 2021 semester and are underway with preparations. We wanted to share the following information about course delivery and housing for Spring, as we know you are beginning to make plans. Additional updates will be forthcoming.
As we did this semester, Ringling College will continue to deliver instruction for the Spring 2021 semester with in-person, hybrid, and online modalities. Safety protocols will continue to be in place to mitigate the risk of infection for our students, faculty, and staff. The selection of course delivery methods are governed by the same guiding principles that steered us for the Fall: Maintaining the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty; ensuring academic excellence; and providing institutional continuity.
In general, in-person course delivery most fully reflects our institutional values of experiential learning, community building, and immersive experiences. Our hybrid modality will be used for courses in which learning outcomes can best be achieved as a blend of online with some face-to-face experiences. Online delivery is a strong pedagogical approach for certain courses that allows students to meet learning outcomes while providing optimal experiences. To decide under which modality courses will be delivered, we consider whether the modality supports achievement of the course learning outcomes and any unique facilities needs the course may require. These assessments are currently underway, though we have determined that we will once again be able to meet the course learning objectives for our Liberal Arts and Art History courses through online delivery for Spring semester. We have provided brief explanations of each instructional delivery type below.
On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, we will post the Spring 2021 course schedule, which will include the delivery modality (as described above). It is important to note that these listings may change before the start of Spring semester, as departments refine and finalize their teaching plans. As was the case for Fall semester, all plans are subject to possible adjustments in response to any changes in COVID-19 status.
We will soon be asking you to share with us via an online form whether you plan to change your learning modality and housing plans for Spring 2021. Please note that you only need to fill out this form if you plan to make a change to your current status; for example, if you were a remote student for Fall semester living off-campus and are choosing to learn in-person and live in residence housing for the Spring term, you would need to fill out this form. If you do not fill out the form, we will assume you are electing the same learning and housing choices for Spring semester that you had for the Fall semester. This information will be crucial to our continued planning for the Spring term, so we ask that any students intending to change their learning modality and housing plans for the Spring semester make sure to fill it out by the stated deadline. A communication with this form will be coming to you on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, with submission due by Friday, November 13, 2020.
Spring semester classes will begin on Monday, January 25, 2021. Classes will end on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Delaying the start of Spring term by two weeks allows us to monitor the region's COVID-19 situation and ensures that our students traveling from international locations have sufficient time to quarantine in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
The typical March break will be canceled, with Focus Days (no classes) taking place on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, March 8-10, 2021. As President Thompson's communication noted, these Focus Days are intended for you to focus on yourself and your projects, as needed. We understand the importance of such a break at the mid-point of the semester, but we must also stay strong in our efforts to maintain the health of our entire campus community. For this reason, we STRONGLY discourage you from traveling over these days. The full 2020-21 academic calendar is available online.
All students living in on-campus residences or commuting to campus are required to provide proof of a negative result of a COVID-19 test taken on January 15, 2021 or after to receive approval to be on campus. Only results from DNA-based PCR COVID-19 tests will be accepted. Although on-campus testing will be available for students who have difficulty obtaining a test before arrival, we strongly encourage students to arrive with their test results; if you take the test on campus, you will be required to quarantine in your residence and not be able to move around campus until your test results are received (approximately 48 hours). Test results can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to 941-359-4854. For questions, please contact email@example.com.
We will continue with the process for randomly testing students, faculty, and staff during the Spring semester. If you receive an email notice from Health Services that you have been selected for random testing, you are expected to comply as part of your commitment to our Safe Community Standards for Behavior.
Signing up for Spring Housing
We anticipate having space available in on-campus residences for students who want to contract housing for Spring 2021. We will be announcing the process for signing up for Spring housing by the beginning of November. For questions about housing, please contact Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All new and returning students to campus residences will be required to check-in and receive medical clearance upon arrival to campus. The check-in process will be held in the Roskamp Exhibition Hall. Students will need to schedule specific times to check in and move in online.
Housing Return and Move-in Dates
January 6-8: All new and returning international students who are traveling to Ringling College from outside the United States will be required to quarantine for two weeks (14 days). Per CDC guidelines, there are current travel restrictions for several countries. Quarantine can be accommodated in your oncampus residence if you do not have another place to stay. You will be asked to take a COVID-19 test toward the end of your quarantine period. Students should continue to monitor travel restrictions for any changes. We recognize that it may not be entirely possible in every circumstance to arrive in the 3 recommended time frame, so students with specific concerns should contact Amy Pettengill, Director of International Student Services, at email@example.com.
A meal package will be available at a cost of $245 for the duration of your quarantine period. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to purchase this package.
International students may choose to quarantine off-campus prior to arrival and will be required to demonstrate proof of having been in the United States for 14 days prior to coming to campus. These students will be required to obtain a COVID-19 test per the requirements noted above. This testing can be obtained through the Student Health Center on-campus or at the various sites listed at www.ringling.edu/healthservices.
Upon coming to campus, a student will check in at the Student Health Services building between 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. If arriving outside of this time, please contact email@example.com so that alternative arrangements can be made.
Staff will also check to see if all health form paperwork and immunizations have been successfully completed. If there are outstanding immunizations, students will be given an appointment time to receive needed immunizations at the Student Health Center. A hold will be placed on student accounts until proof of immunization has been received.
January 21-23: New and returning students traveling to Ringling from within the United States should plan to arrive in this time frame. Students should schedule their specific times to check in and move in online.
All new and returning commuting students will be required to check-in and receive medical clearance upon arrival to campus. The check-in process will be held in the Roskamp Exhibition Hall. Commuting students should schedule their check-in times online.
New Student Orientation
January 12-15, 2021: To accommodate the CDC-recommended quarantine period, orientation for new international students will take place via Zoom.
January 23, 2021: Orientation for for ALL new students.
More information on Spring semester Orientation will be forthcoming.
We will be hosting an Informational Session via Zoom on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 7:00 PM EST, to provide updates and information about the planning for Spring 2021. Please join us via Zoom at https://ringling-edu.zoom.us/j/98092798238.
For general questions about life on campus for Spring 2021, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please continue your conscientious behavior that is helping to keep our community safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to VPAA@ringling.edu with any academic-related questions or to email@example.com with any questions related to campus life. We are here to help as you navigate your choices for the Spring semester.