Marquette University to offer mix of in-person, online learning this fall

Posted at 2:52 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 15:52:33-04

MILWAUKEE -- Marquette University will reopen this fall for in-person learning, with online and hybrid approaches available when possible, according to a letter posted on the university's website.

"After much thoughtful and deliberate consultation with the Milwaukee Health Department, our faculty and staff medical experts, and our Board of Trustees — which includes nationally renowned medical leaders — Marquette University will move forward with our plan to reopen campus in-person this fall with fewer students living residentially," Marquette President Dr. Michael Lovell and Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Kimo Ah Yun wrote in the letter. "We continue to be committed to an on-campus experience. In response to student feedback, we will work with undergraduate students who desire an all online or hybrid experience to find options as we are able."

Marquette says it will offer "a mixture of in-person, hybrid and fully online learning options" this semester "where reasonably possible." Additional hybrid/online sections will be added "where possible to meet student demand." Students should expect to hear more as soon as today about their options, the letter says.

First-year students who choose to take a fully online course load can waive their residential living requirement for this year and remain wherever they're living now, but first-year students taking any in-person or hybrid classes need to stay in the Marquette resident halls, the university says. Sophomores will have the option to live wherever they would like, regardless of where they are taking their classes.

"Our priority is for our students to keep making progress toward their degree completion, providing a top-tier Marquette education while managing these difficult times together. We recognize the path is not the same for every student, so we are offering flexibility and as many choices as we are reasonably able. We care about the emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of each member of our campus community, and our reopening plan seeks to provide the best balance of options that we are able," Lovell and Yun wrote.

Read more below bout what the fall semester will look like. Information is provided by Marquette University:

Our responsibility to each other

  • A healthy campus is our shared responsibility. In the spirit of cura personalis, we must each do our part and together we can reduce the spread of the virus. We are asking all students, faculty and staff to take a Marquette pledge to promote health and safety practices that mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Without this commitment, the university may have to scale back the number of people on campus or move to a fully online environment as we did this spring.
  • All students will be required to complete an online COVID-19 education module before the start of the semester. This applies to students who have already been back on campus for instruction or student employment.
  • All students living locally will be provided a welcome kit that includes a Marquette cloth mask, hand sanitizer and a digital thermometer. Welcome kits will be available in the residence halls and at several locations throughout campus for pickup.
  • All employees who are working on campus must complete virtual training provided by Human Resources before returning to campus. Remote work will continue for various departments on campus to de-densify campus.
  • When in shared or public areas of campus and in the presence of others, a cloth face covering must be worn. This aligns with the city and state’s mask ordinance.
  • Individuals should stay at least six feet apart when in a public or shared setting.
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available for faculty, staff and students at locations throughout campus.

Symptom screening, testing, contact tracing and quarantine procedures

  • All faculty, staff and students on-campus will undergo a daily screening process for COVID-19. Qualtrics software will be utilized to aid this process and help with contact tracing. More information will be shared in the coming week.
  • An on-campus testing center to test symptomatic students and their close contacts is being established. The testing center will be managed by the Marquette University Medical Clinic in coordination with the Marquette Department of Clinical Laboratory Science. As required by law, test results will be provided to the Milwaukee Health Department and State of Wisconsin.
  • For students living in residence halls, Marquette has identified rooms in residence halls and near campus to isolate infected students, and to quarantine close contacts, as needed. Students living in off-campus housing will be able to request quarantine or isolation space from the university if their current living situation does not allow for such space. Families are encouraged to discuss their plans in case of quarantine or isolation of the student is required.
  • Faculty, staff and students are asked to complete this form to voluntarily disclose whether they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are presumed positive or have been exposed to the virus. This will aid in earlier identification of cases and allow efficient contact tracing and therefore decreased transmission.
  • To provide transparency around the number of faculty, staff and student COVID-19 cases on or near campus, the university has launched a coronavirus dashboard that is updated weekly, consistent with local government updates.

Academic instruction and research

  • A mixture of in-person, hybrid and remote instruction will provide physical distancing to decrease transmission of COVID-19. Students have the ability to update their class schedules based on instruction modality where new options are available.
  • Following city guidelines, classroom capacities have been reduced to be the lesser of 50% of the total capacity or one person per 30 square feet. In-person classes will have no more than 50 people, appropriately physically distanced. Classroom furniture will be reconfigured in some rooms to create appropriate physical distancing.
  • Cloth face coverings are required in classrooms as in all public and shared spaces on campus.
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available for individuals to clean their seats and work areas in classrooms prior to the start of class.
  • All active classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Academic research will continue following appropriate safety and health guidelines.

Student life and co-curricular activities

  • The common areas of residence halls and university apartments will be de-densified, with signage to explain the adjusted capacity and to designate appropriate physical distancing.
  • Marquette is working closely with Sodexo, our dining services partner, to reduce seating, add physically distanced seating areas (where possible and especially during peak times), increase online ordering, and add more takeout/grab-and-go options.
  • Fitness facility capacities will be reduced, and in-person meetings and events for student organizations, worship and other campus co-curricular activities will be limited and planned virtually to implement proper physical distancing measures.

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