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In Classrooms

Our small class sizes and legacy of personal attention allow us to nimbly adapt to online learning while still delivering strong student engagement.

A Safer Semester

The revised academic calendar for fall 2020, created with public health in mind, minimizes non-essential travel over holidays and time on campus during peak flu and cold season. Classes start Aug. 17 and end before Thanksgiving.

The extra time after Nov. 24 allows for finalizing grade submission. It can also be used to offer online make-up exams (not regular exams), additional time for students to submit projects, and for graduate student thesis and dissertation defenses.

August 17 First Day of Classes
September 7 (Labor Day) Classes Held
September 26 (Saturday) Classes Held
October 8 & 9 No Fall Break; Classes Held
October 22 Last Day to Drop Classes
October 23 Last Day to Elect Pass/No Credit (P/NC) Option
October 24  (Saturday) Classes Held
November 17 Last Day of Classes
November 18-20 & 23-24 Final Exams 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
November 23-24 Classes Held as Needed for Dissertations, Presentations, etc.
December 4 Grades for December Degree Candidates Must be Posted
December 10 End of Semester; All Other Grades Due

Instructor Resources

Our Koehler Center for Instruction, Innovation & Engagement provides excellent training in online course delivery. College eTrainers are available to assist instructors with designing course elements (lectures, discussions, labs) relevant to disciplines within the college, and help instructors navigate the Hybrid Certification process.

Course Delivery

Courses will be delivered in one of two modes.

  • Online Courses
    In a fully online course, the instructor and all students in the class participate in the course remotely, even though some students may reside on campus and some instructors may be teaching from campus.

    In most cases, online courses will be delivered synchronously (live) at least 80 percent of the time. That means real-time instruction at the designated class period—not learning by email, prerecorded lectures or online discussion threads. Students participate in face-to-face instruction via Zoom or Adobe Connect.

    Offering optional on-campus engagement opportunities for online courses is encouraged, but instructors should ensure that all students are afforded the same opportunities to be successful. Instructors should not offer curricular components (such as exams) on campus for an online course.

  • On-campus Courses
    Instructors of on-campus courses will deliver the course’s primary components in a physically distanced classroom, simultaneously delivering to students who have opted for online learning or who may be ill or self-isolating. Some course components (certain lectures, labs, small group meetings or experiential learning) may be delivered online. 

De-densified Classrooms & Labs

To allow for safe physical distancing, student occupancy capacities in classrooms, labs and other specialty instructional spaces will be reduced. TCU Facilities has designated specific furniture arrangements for these spaces; seating diagrams are posted and furniture locations are clearly marked on floors.

classroom spacing

Classes of 30 or More

To allow physical distancing for students filing in and out of classrooms, no more than 30 students should ever occupy a classroom at one time. Instructors teaching in-person classes with more than 30 on-campus students should develop a system allowing these students to take turns attending lectures in class and virtually.

New Digital Teaching & Landing Spaces

Unused classroom spaces across campus have been transformed into digital teaching spaces for those who don’t wish to teach virtually from a private offices or home. A number of unused classrooms have been modified for use as classroom landing spaces for students, allowing them to take online courses in areas other than their rooms or local residences.

Accommodations

If you are considered high risk for COVID-19 as defined by the CDC, you’re responsible for notifying your supervisor and Human Resources if you think you might seek accommodations.

Your supervisor will work collaboratively with you and Human Resources to discuss reasonable accommodations or work modifications that will allow you to continue working. If a complicated situation requires resolution, you may turn to the employee relations team in Human Resources at resolve@hr.tcu.edu.

Please refer to page 10 of the Return to Campus: Phase 3 guide for more information about accommodations.

During the current COVID period, ADA includes accommodations for employees that the CDC considers high risk for severe illness.

Eligibility Requirements for Consideration

To receive reasonable accommodations under the federal ADA an individual must have an “actual” or a “record of” a disability, as defined by the ADA Amendments Act. In addition, there must be some connection between the impairment and specific need for accommodation.

Employees who are the primary caregiver of an individual with disabilities are ineligible to receive reasonable accommodations under the federal ADA; however, employees may be eligible for job-protected leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

For more information, visit the ADA page on the Human Resources website.

COVID-19 Related Leave

Employees should use accrued leave (sick or vacation) to accommodate required absences. If approved for FMLA, employees must use their accrued sick and vacation to remain in a paid status while on FMLA.

During the current COVID period, FMLA would also apply for the following reasons:

  • To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent living in the employee’s household who is in a high-risk category for a serious health condition related to COVID
  • Positive COVID-19 test result – applicable for employee or eligible family member
  • 14-day self-observation due to close contact or exposure to COVID-19
  • If an employee is unable to work due to a dependent minor child’s school or daycare closure and no alternatives are available (You must provide proof of dependent status and include the notice from your child’s school or daycare to include dates that fall within the requested leave.)

For more information, visit the Family and Medical Leave Act information page on the Human Resources website.