Academics & Student Support


The fall 2021 semester begins Monday, August 16 and concludes Wednesday, December 8. View the full academic calendar here.

Students should contact the Academic Success Center at or 828.350.4501 for questions regarding advising, class registrations, accessibility accommodations, and more.


Almost all classes will be offered in-person, and in-person only.

If a faculty member wishes to offer a course in one of the two following modes for any class, they may do so:

  • HyFlex: faculty member is in-person but teaches simultaneously to in-person and to remote students, with the student having the option to engage the class remotely or in person, entirely based on their choice, on any given day.

We recognize that this can be a challenging modality in which to teach. Indicating that this is an option for any faculty member who chooses to teach in this mode is not in any way an expression of expectation to do so. And while there are some scenarios where it may be necessary to find an alternative to the traditional class experience for a student, teaching both in-person and remotely at the same time may (or may not) be only one of many possible appropriate solutions. (See below for more on accommodations.)

  • Occasional Hybrid: faculty member teaches at least 75% of the class in-person, but allows for at most 25% of the course to be offered remotely. In this case, the remote portion of the course should be:

    • offered predominantly synchronously;

    • on a schedule made available to students at the start of class;

    • offer no more than two consecutive classes remotely.

Any faculty member offering the course in one of these modes should notify as soon as possible and if offering an “occasional hybrid” course, include the schedule of remote offerings.

Grading & Withdrawals

We do not anticipate changing our grading structure for the 2021-22 academic year. If there is a sudden change in education experience or a mandate from the UNC System Office, we would address our policies at that time.

If a student needs to withdraw from classes, We will follow our standard withdrawal policy. Tuition refunds are not usually granted for withdrawals. However, exceptions can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Excused Absences

We have several resources available to students who need to make up classes, from class recording technology to note-taking, but it will depend on the 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). An instructor should not ask for a particular detail of personal health history but can always ask for a note from a health provider that a particular person is cleared to be in class.

Student Support

Visit the Campus Services & Hours page for a list of support services available to students.

Contingency Planning

Contingency plans are in place, if required, for shifting quickly from on-campus operations to fully online instruction and suspension of campus activities. The plan is based on our relatively smooth shift to online instruction during the spring semester of 2020 and we would replicate all practicable steps to implement the process again if necessary. The decision to move back to online learning would be made at the System level.