As Augusta University prepares for normal operations in the fall with a return to face-to-face instruction, students, faculty, and staff can expect to see the following instructional plans as we continue our commitment to providing a safe learning environment for all.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the work you have done this past year to maintain safety protocols and instructional continuity for our students under unprecedented circumstances,” said Dr. Zach Kelehear, vice provost for instruction. “I’m confident that your work has built a strong foundation for a successful summer and fall semester, no matter what might come our way.”
To help prepare you for the coming months, please note a few updates relative to instruction and safety:
Summer 2021 instruction
Just like in pre-pandemic semesters, classes will be offered in face-to-face, hybrid and online formats. As you might expect, we will continue practicing the 3 Ws: wear a mask, wash hands and watch our distance. Although many people have been vaccinated or will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine soon, we cannot relax the safety practices and protocols that have kept our community safe and our campus open.
As always, faculty members have appropriate flexibility in the design and administration of their classes. However, any substantive changes in the mode of delivery (from what is published in the schedule of classes) must be approved in advance by the provost. This is critical to ensure our students know what to expect and that they receive the kinds of experiences for which they registered. As has been our practice thus far, faculty should continue to communicate with students about how to report positive cases or exposure to COVID-19, as well as an appropriate contingency plan for completing coursework in such cases.
Fall 2021 planning
As was the case in our pre-COVID-19 world, we are offering a combination of instructional delivery options for the fall term. Our emphasis, however, is on face-to-face instruction as we prepare for a return to traditional instructional modalities. I respectfully ask that all faculty remain flexible and have an emergency plan for transitioning from face-to-face to hybrid/online should circumstances require it. Although we do not anticipate any changes, any decisions about modality expectations that differ from planning for face-to-face will be communicated promptly.
We will continue to monitor the pandemic and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Health and safety protocols
We will continue with current safety protocols even as the vaccine becomes more widely available. We remain hopeful that we will soon receive news of eligibility for all faculty and staff, which will help ease the burden for many but will not be a reason to relax our precautions. We will continue to update the AU community about vaccine availability and our process for administering it to faculty and staff.
Please continue to check our COVID-19 resource page for updates, FAQs, print materials and statistics.
“Thanks for your efforts, and we look forward to the semester ahead as our campus once again thrives with the presence of our faculty and students,” Kelehear said.
Registration for summer and fall 2021 begins March 15. During the first week of registration, eligible time slots are assigned by students’ class level.