Academics

 

Tuition, Academic Calendar, Class Schedules

What are the tuition and fees for Fall 2020?

As we are all working to be ready to provide in-person instruction and on campus experiences for our students, we are also preparing for the contingencies that the COVID-19 crisis may require us to address. We cannot predict if some or all instructional formats for all or part of the 2020-21 academic year may change due to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees directly impact our ability to provide meaningful educational programs, experiences, and services and will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-21 academic year. Tuition is the same for all class types.

When do Fall 2020 classes start?

Classes will start August 10, 2020, and we anticipate opening the semester August 6 for on-campus activities and events.

What is the academic calendar for Fall 2020?

Classes begin August 10, 2020 and end November 20, 2020, with a one-day break on Wednesday, September 30. Classes will be offered for the full semester, though faculty are encouraged to concentrate on necessary on-campus work during the first half of the semester.

Labor day will not be a day off of classes; classes will take place following the typical Monday schedule.

Monday, November 16 will follow Wednesday’s schedule. This means that whatever happens on a Wednesday will happen on that day. If a course meets only on Wednesdays, it would meet on Monday, November 16. If a course meets only on Mondays, it would not meet on Monday, November 16. This will ensure that there will be precisely 14 instances of every day’s schedule.

The last four days of the semester—November 17 through November 20—will be an “exam week” in a slightly compressed form. The particular times for exams will be determined by the registrar’s office and published at some point during the semester.

Does the phased approach to coming back to campus include class start dates?

No, all classes start at the beginning of the semester, which is the week of August 10.

What is the daily class schedule?

The class schedule should remain as it is currently published. There may be some shifting of class times and days to accommodate particular class sizes for a given room location or to allow time for greater social distancing between classes. Courses will be delivered in hybrid formats, so classes might meet in person one day and online another day. These details will be determined and shared by faculty leading each class.

How many classes can a student take in the Fall 2020 semester?

A student will be able to have a normal course load in the fall term of 2020. Classes will span the full 15-week semester, and students will retain their planned schedule as much as possible.

What is the percentage of classes offered in-person, online or hybrid?

As of mid-July, 40% of classes are in-person, 30% are fully online and 30% are hybrid classes. Additional updates may continue to be made through the start of classes on August 10. Students can review their schedules and make updates through the drop/add period. 

Is there a minimum metric for in-person classes?

The metric has not been provided by the UNC System.

Will courses be in-person and online at the same time?

No, we do not expect that classes will be duplicated in a fully online version, though some classes may be fully online, just as some will be completely in person. Hybrid courses will offer some opportunities for continuation and student engagement should individual circumstances change throughout the course of the semester.

What if students want to take all of their classes online? What if all of their classes are online, except for one?

Some students may have a documented need for online classes. They can request an accommodation.

If students prefer all online classes, they can review their schedule and optimize their class selections for this option. Faculty may make it an option for students to take their course online, but they are not obligated to do so. Students should contact the Academic Success Center for more information and to look for other class options that are available online.

Tuition is the same for all class types.

How will the on-campus experience change or be the same?

The on-campus experience will be at the same high-level of academic excellence and extracurricular experiences, but in smaller groups, expanded settings, and with social distancing in mind. We will facilitate engagement, relationship-building, internship and service opportunities in the community, and creative ways to connect. We encourage our students to lead this area.

Our class sizes aren’t changing. We are keeping the same mission and values, which are predicated on the tradition of the liberal arts and sciences and small classes with close faculty-student interaction. This mission will continue in hybrid courses.

What are the metrics that would cause a change in the plan?

The metrics will come from the UNC System. It’s a variety of measures in the ambient spread of the virus. We will follow the guidance of the epidemiologist at UNC Chapel Hill who have been guiding us throughout the past few months and work closely with our local Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services.

Will materials be shared?

It will depend on the circumstance, but we encourage everyone to bring their own sets of materials and to limit sharing.

Will grade changes be in place?

We do not anticipate changing our grading structure of requirements for Latin honors during the fall semester.

What if a student needs to withdraw from classes? Will tuition be refunded?

Everything will be approached on a case-by-case basis.

What resources will be available when students miss classes, need to make-up classes, or need an online option?

We have several resources available, from class recording technology to notetaking, but it will depend on each class. Some of the strategies available include streaming of the course for students to watch live,  recording of the class to be shared with students asynchronously, or developing alternative ways for students to receive course content (Powerpoint slides on Moodle, for example) and demonstrate participation/attendance in the course (short submissions to prompts, for example).

What is the plan for Winter Commencement?

We will announce plans for Winter Commencement at a later time this fall, depending on prevailing COVID-19 trend data.

It is our intention if public health protocols allow that the Fall 2020 commencement will be on Saturday, November 21. We will make the final decision on the matter on Sep. 28 based on available information at the time.

Will UNC Asheville offer study abroad programs in Fall 2020?

No, all summer and Fall 2020 programs have been cancelled.

 

Classrooms & Campus Spaces

What will in-person classrooms look like?

Classrooms will be configured to adhere to social distancing standards. There will be safeguards in place for common use classroom computers used by faculty for teaching. Faculty will be encouraged to bring their own devices to the classroom for teaching purposes.

When possible, furniture will be removed to allow for more space, and fixed seats may be marked to keep 6 feet of space in between. Plexiglass dividers will be installed in specific areas and faculty may use face shields too.

You can see a sample of classroom spaces in the Return to Campus Fall 2020 Video Tour.

When can faculty get back into their offices or into the classrooms to see what they are like?

Faculty have permission and authority to do that now (as of July 27). If you don’t have a need to be in your office or another space, please continue to work remotely.

When will the buildings be unlocked for faculty, staff and students to see their classrooms and plan their routes and routines for class schedules?

Buildings will return to normal unlock and lock schedules on August 3, 2020.

What are the options for office hours?

Office hours can be face-to-face if you have an office that can maintain social distancing with a mask. You can also meet in outdoor spaces or empty classrooms. It’s not required that these meetings or office hours be in person. You can schedule remote office hours too.

What class sizes meet in person, if North Carolina remains in Phase 2, which limits gatherings to a maximum of 10 people?

The expectation is that we should manage our classroom density to meet the requirement of the phase we are in at the time. The next state update is expected by August 7 and exceptions may be made for universities.

Can classes meet outside? If classes meet outside and students are six feet apart, do we still wear masks?

If you want to take a class outside, while maintaining social distancing, you are welcome to do so. We have created informal outdoor spaces, but please know these spaces will not have electrical outlets, tents or overhead covering, no screens for presentations, or writing surfaces. Some options below have seating provided, and others will be grass-seating only. Please make note of this when choosing to utilize an outdoor location. We do not at this time have capacity to bring tents, writing surfaces or technology to these spaces. If this changes, we will certainly let you know.

To use the available spaces, please email your reservation request to Silke Crombie, assistant director for reservations and event services, at scrombie@unca.edu. Please include the date and time of your class and the number of students in the class, and Silke will promptly respond to your request to reserve an area with a confirmation. Below are the outdoor spaces ready for use on Monday, August 10.

Furnished outdoor “classrooms”

  • Quad:Two meeting circles of 10 adirondack chairs.
  • Rhoades Plaza
  • Carmichael Hall Terrace
  • Robinson Hall Breezeway
  • Laurel Forum Courtyard
  • Tennent Park Outdoor Classroom

Locations of stacks of 20 folding chairs:

  • Zeis Portico
  • Carmichael Hall and Whitesides Hall for Reynold’s Green
  • Bulldog Way

Unfurnished outdoor classrooms (class on grass )

  • Karpen Azalea Garden
  • Reynolds Green
  • Zaiger Green

Masks should still be worn with social distancing.

What support is available for non-traditional classroom spaces?

We are assessing all spaces on campus. Email fall2020schedule@unca.edu if you have questions or concerns about a class space.

Is the library available for students who need to take online classes between in-person classes?

Ramsey Library, Highsmith Student Union and many outdoor spaces are available for students to set up their own laptop.

Laptops may also be available for check-out from Ramsey Library, but we recommend students bring their own, with headphones recommended too.

Is the library open to the community?

Ramsey Library use is limited to our campus community. It is not open to the public for the fall 2020 semester.

Are campus facilities open to the public, school groups or tours?

We have closed our facilities to all outside groups. Prospective students may take campus tours, when those are available, but the larger group tours will not be available.

Please clarify the statement about campus being closed to outside groups. Does this include guest speakers and class visitors? What about family members?

Generally speaking, our campus is only open to our campus community, so we should limit guest speakers and other visitors. If you have a guest speaker request, please talk to your dean. If you can work flexibly from home for child care needs, please do so.

What about considerations for specific spaces such as labs, studio spaces, performance spaces?

Please contact your department chair who can work with the dean who serves in the Emergency Operations Center and can evaluate each case.

 

On Reopening

Why did UNC Asheville choose to reopen and resume in-person classes?

We believe resuming in-person classes with a hybrid format is the right thing to do. Our students are needing and demanding that we open in person, because that is the cornerstone of quality here, and we value close faculty and student interaction and learning. It is because of this collegiality and community of care that we can open in a way that encourages our faculty, staff, and students to be part of a community and take care of one another. We also care about the continuity of employment for our employees, and we want to keep our employees in service to our students.

The UNC System has been guiding us. We’ve worked with local health care providers and partners, the city and county to establish predicate health protocols that will help us and guide us in this endeavor.

The reasons to open are direct. We are a place of value for our students and a place of employment. We have a mission and purpose that our region, state, and nation are depending on us to deliver. In-person instruction relies on the energy, creativity and intellectual capital of every one of our faculty, staff and students.

What data has informed this decision to re-open?

We rely on data from the epidemiologist in the UNC System, as well as local partners in MAHEC and Mission Health. There has been an adherence to science about when to start and end the semester.

The UNC System surveyed students through the ASG, which in the coming year will be led by UNC Asheville student Isaiah Green, giving UNC Asheville a unique voice and perspective in ongoing conversations.

What must happen to re-open and offer in-person classes?

Health and safety is our highest priority. We must abide by the fundamentals of virus mitigation, starting with social distance. Hand-washing and hand-sanitizing, as well as all forms of hygiene etiquette, is essential.

Face coverings need to become our new community expectation.

We know we must gather and resume in-person instruction, but in the face of the virus we must all bear a responsibility for ourselves and one another.

Will classes go back online if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs?

The decision to move back to online learning would be made at the System level.

What are the metrics that would cause a change in the plan?

The metrics will come from the UNC System. It’s a variety of measures in the ambient spread of the virus. We will follow the guidance of the epidemiologist at UNC Chapel Hill who have been guiding us throughout the past few months and work closely with our local Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services.

When will a decision be made about a possible winter session?

We will need to hear from the campus community first to decide if we implement a winter session in December and/or January. This would need to be decided in time for students to register for winter session at the same time they register for spring courses. We will have a decision by the end of September.

If we go to virtual classes, are students guaranteed to stay on campus if they want to?

Students who have fully online schedules at the start of the semester may continue to stay on campus. If we are directed to go completely online, the decision for staying on campus would be made in conjunction with the UNC System. It would be our intent for students to be able to stay on campus if they need to. It may be the safest and best option for them.

 

For Faculty

How do we handle changing conditions regarding COVID-19? Do faculty teaching in-person or hybrid classes have the authority to move their classes online at any point?

The primary concern is the health and safety of our campus community, and we want to be flexible as needs change. We want to give faculty the flexibility to adjust schedules, but there needs to be a process where this is clearly communicated to students so they can make plans. Faculty should not independently move their classes online for the semester. This process is ongoing. Faculty can email fall2020schedule@unca.edu with questions. 

Can we only have lab /studio classes in person and all lectures online?

For any class changes, please email fall2020schedule@unca.edu.

What training will there be for faculty teaching in person?

Videos are available to demonstrate the classroom experience at coronavirus.unca.edu/video-tours.