April 12, 2021Clarifying information about the Fall 2021 course schedule
TO: All Undergraduate Students
FROM: Dr. Susan Gaulden, Interim Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
It is likely that most of you have reviewed the Fall 2021 course schedule and consulted with your advisors to select your fall courses by now, since registration opens today. (Please see the Registration Schedule to determine your specific registration window.) I am writing to respond to some questions that were recently communicated to me by the SGA leadership.
Please keep in mind while reading the Q&A below that the College must continue to comply with the NJ Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) Restart Standards, which require all NJ colleges and universities to provide various “instructional options, including remote instruction…(and) to accommodate faculty and students who are unable to participate in in-person instruction.” This directive is also present in Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 155. Therefore, while there will be a significant increase of on-campus academic presence in Fall 2021 compared to previous pandemic-impacted semesters, the College must continue to offer a range of course delivery modes to accommodate everyone who may not, for one reason or another, be able to participate in on-campus classes in the fall.
Question: How do I know the delivery mode of each course in the Fall 2021 course schedule? Answer: Please consult the Instructions to Determine Course Delivery Modes posted on the Registrar’s website as you choose your sections. This updated resource provides you with definitions of the six Fall 2021 course delivery modes, as well as examples of how those modes appear in Web Self-Service. You can also review my last message from March 8, 2021 in which definitions and descriptions of the delivery modes were presented. If you still have questions after reviewing this documentation, please contact your advisor.
Question: Are all courses offered in all six delivery modes this fall? Answer: Although many multi-section courses are offering a variety of delivery modes this fall, it is not always possible for courses with few sections to offer the complete range of modes. Additionally, not every course can be delivered in all six modes due to the course content and the kind of learning experience students should have to meet the intended learning outcomes. (Note: Delivery modes are determined by the faculty and monitored by Conveners and Deans. They are chosen to ensure that students are able to learn course content, as well as to address health considerations of course instructors, a stipulation required by state mandates and Executive Orders.)
Question: What should I do if one of the courses I want/need is not offered in the delivery mode I prefer? Answer: If one of your courses is not offered in the delivery mode(s) you prefer or need, you have the following options:
If the course is not required for your academic program (i.e., if you chose this course as an elective), you may choose a different course that is offering a section delivered in the mode you prefer.
Upon consultation with your advisor, you may alter your four-year plan and delay taking the course until a future semester when it may be offered in the mode you prefer. Alternatively, your advisor may suggest another course, which could be substituted for a program requirement, as appropriate.
Question: What should I do if the course I want/need is offered in a delivery mode that includes on-campus attendance of class meetings, but I want to continue remote learning and remain off campus? Answer: For students who wish to learn off-campus in the fall, if one or more of the courses you plan to take is only offered as In-Person, Hybrid In-Person-Virtual-Synchronous, or Hybrid In-Person-Asynchronous mode, please contact the instructor with your request to participate remotely. If your request is approved, your instructor will provide you with details on how to engage remotely (e.g., join livestreamed classes, view recorded class meetings, complete readings, etc.).
Question: Is the Fall 2021 course schedule likely to change or is it final?
Answer: Please be aware that because there are a number of months between now and the start of Fall 2021 classes, it is likely that changes will be made to the course schedule. Therefore, you should monitor and check your schedule closer to the start of the semester, in case any adjustments must be made.
Question: If changes are made to the Fall 2021 course schedule and I would like to adjust the courses I chose during early registration, what should I do?
Answer: According to the Academic Year 2021-2022 calendar, students may add/drop Fall 2021 courses up until September 7, 2021. Students who have questions should contact their advisors or the Office of the Registrar.
Question: Why is Ramapo still planning to abide by the 6-foot social distancing rule this fall? Answer: Social distancing guideline changes were announced in a CDC operational strategy update. I recommend reading the press release from March 19 for a summary of the updates, which indicates that the 3-foot social distancing is limited to all elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools only where local transmission rates are not high. Since institutions of higher education are not included in the updated 3-foot social distancing guidelines, we must continue to follow the 6-foot social distancing mandates prescribed by the CDC, State, and local health departments.
Question: Since social distancing rules require 6 feet of distance between individuals who do not live together, how does this affect the classroom setup? Answer: The occupancy limits of Ramapo classrooms have been greatly reduced to comply with current social distancing guidelines. This means that instructors of course sections in which enrollments exceed classroom occupancy limits will have to establish a rotating in-person class meeting attendance schedule. (Note: Should social distancing guidelines change and affect our plans for Fall 2021, students will be informed via their Ramapo email in a timely manner.)
Question: Whom should I contact if I have any questions about a particular course listed in the Fall 2021 course schedule? Answer: If you have any questions about a particular fall course, please email the instructor listed in the Fall 2021 course schedule for more information. If there is no instructor listed (i.e., if it indicates TBA in the instructor field), please email the Convener or the Dean of the School offering the course.
I hope this message helps to clarify information about the Fall 2021 schedule. All of us at the College look forward to a rich, engaging, and rigorous academic experience in the fall. In the meantime, best wishes for a successful remainder of the spring semester. Stay well.