Academics Updates

Student Welcome

August 19, 2020

Dear Immaculata University Students,

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional,” John C. Maxwell—this quote lingers with me as we begin a fall semester like no other. While we are all experiencing challenges due to the coronavirus, you—a devoted college student—have made a concerted effort to continue to grow as an individual. Your drive to continue on your path of learning and pursuit of passion speaks volumes about your tenacity, resilience, and fortitude—as a student, a learner, and a human being.

On August 10th President Lettiere announced an update to Immaculata University’s Fall 2020 semester. Except for NUR courses, all classes designated as On-campus, Virtual “Live,” or Hybrid will be conducted solely via virtual instruction from August 31 – October 18. It is important to note that on October 19, all courses will return to the modality indicated on the course schedule.

As you begin the academic year at Immaculata University, I am certain you have numerous questions about your fall course schedule. I know that many of you are wondering, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the many resources that are available to you as you begin the fall term.

While the start of the fall semester will certainly be different than anticipated, our commitment to your education is unwavering. As we near our 100th anniversary, Immaculata is steadfast in offering you an outstanding education, knowing that knowledge and wisdom provide the opportunity to not only change your life for the better, but – through you – to advance positive change in the world.

Sincerely,

Angela M. Tekely, Ed.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Frequently Asked Questions

In what modality will my classes be now?

Please review your course schedule in SSIU (navigate to “Student,” “Registration,” “Student Schedule”). All courses with the schedule type “Lecture” will be conducted via virtual instruction from August 31 – October 18. Beginning on October 19th, all courses will transition to the modality listed on your course schedule. Students registered for courses designated as Virtual “Live” will be provided with additional details on October 12 regarding their A/B group designation; implementation of these groups will begin the week of October 19th.

Faculty members have designed their courses for virtual instruction through October 18. Courses will include remote synchronous sessions (live class sessions conducted through Google Meet, MS Teams, or Zoom). These virtual class sessions will take place on the days/times listed on your course schedule. Classes will also include online instructional engagement through our Learning Management System (Moodle).

What does this change mean for me?

Student must access Moodle regularly to engage with their Fall 2020 courses. Fall courses will be available on Moodle by Friday, August 28, and students must login to Moodle no later than August 31, 2020. Faculty will also be emailing students with additional directions and guidance. Students must regularly check their Immaculata University email account.

Immaculata University has created step-by-step guides for using Moodle; you are encouraged to review Moodle FAQs for Students. Additionally, Immaculata University Support Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone: 866-767-9460. The IU Support Center can assist you with login issues, MYIU, SSIU, and Moodle.

Will virtual instruction be as robust as face-to-face?

Immaculata University has been successfully providing virtual instruction for over 20 years; our faculty, staff, and administrators are prepared to offer you a robust experience this fall. Immaculata University adheres to the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education Programs (Online Learning), developed by leading practitioners of distance education. Additionally, all teaching faculty have received extensive training in online instruction and using Moodle effectively for their courses. Throughout the summer, faculty were led by Dr. Chris Jernstedt to engage in conversations with colleagues throughout the region. Dr. Jernstedt is a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Founder of the Center for Learning Outcomes at Dartmouth College whose research expertise focuses on factors that impact learning. In addition to faculty training, Immaculata University has invested in technology that improves the student experience, including virtual labs, 3D animation software, and remote servers that allow our students to access software remotely. Our faculty remain dedicated to creating an in-depth, rigorous learning experience for you—no matter the modality.

What academic support services can I expect?

Academic Affairs is committed to providing you with the academic support services you need to be successful. The offices of Academic Advising, Academic Coaching, Career and Professional Development, Disability Services, Library Support, Math Center, Tutoring Services, and the Writing Center are ready to assist you. Each of these offices has worked over the summer to refine their services to better meet your needs in a virtual environment. I encourage you to review the Campus FAQs, as they will be most helpful as you prepare for the fall term.

Fall 2020 Calendar

  • August 31 – Fall Semester Classes Begin
  • September 7 – Labor Day – No Classes
  • October 2 – Fall Break
  • October 5 – Classes Resume
  • November 16 – Spring Registration – CAPS & CGS
  • November 24 – 29 Thanksgiving Recess begins after Day Classes on 11/24
  • November 30 – Classes Resume
  • December 4 – Carol Night
  • December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception (University Feast Day)- No Classes
  • December 12 – End of Semester
  • December 14-January 8 – Winter Break

Class Modalities

On-campus: These courses are taught in a traditional classroom, face-to-face. On-campus class will meet social distancing guidelines, and both students and faculty are expected to wear masks while in classrooms and hallways.

Virtual “Live”: These courses are offered face to face; however, students will be provided an alternating schedule: meeting face-to-face one session and meeting virtually the next. Virtual “Live” modality will be used so all students have face-to-face experience while limiting the number of students in a classroom to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Online: No in-person requirement. These online courses are taught completely through Immaculata’s learning management system, Moodle; these courses do not meet on a certain day or at a certain time unless a synchronous online meeting has been scheduled by the instructor.

Remote Synchronous: These courses are offered remotely, with scheduled set meeting days/times.

Hybrid: These courses offer part online or virtual instruction and part face-to-face instruction in a classroom, with instructors letting students know which days they will meet on campus.

Off-Campus: off-campus cohort programs (College of Graduate Studies and College Adult Professional Studies) will continue to run as scheduled. Any changes to the schedule will be articulated by the Dean of the college.

Class Schedule

Immaculata University’s on-campus schedule has been revised to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Schedule changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Over 20 courses have been moved to 8am, 2pm and 3:30pm timeslots, the least utilized timeslots within the M-F course blocks
  • Classroom course capacities have been adjusted to accommodate 6’ social distancing
  • 15 classrooms have been identified to have cameras placed to utilize A/B schedule for “virtual live” sessions
  • Lab sections have been evaluated, labs within chemistry/biology/and physics will utilize Labster software to complete A/B schedule for labs after consultation with the program directors.
  • Course room assignments have been shifted to allow maximum use of available space in each time slot while meeting the social distancing guidelines and accommodating A/B schedules in camera equipped classrooms.
  • Smaller classrooms have been taken “off-line” for classroom use for the fall
  • Specific classes which require all students to have a face-to-face experience for every class meeting have been assigned to larger spaces (eg. Green Room, Great hall, and Alumnae Hall)

 

Student Class Attendance Policy

As the University continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff remain our highest priority. All decisions made by the University are aligned with guidance provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local agencies.

During this time, it is critical to adhere to public health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

A student who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider and refrain from attending classes. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever over 100 degrees, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell. Students who experience symptoms, test positive or receive a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 should notify Elise Girard, Director of Student Health Services, egirard@immaculata.edu or ex: 3500, to facilitate next steps. Students will need to follow guidance as provided by Student Health Services.

If a student does not test positive, and is not experiencing any symptoms, but is quarantining as a preventative measure they should:

  • Email the Director of Academic Advising, Kate Commiskey (College of Undergraduate Studies & College of Adult Professional Studies) or Associate Dean (College of Graduate Studies), Sandra Rollison for additional support.
  • Review the COVID-19 Learning Accommodations policy and contact Executive Director of Learning Support Services, Jennifer Peruso with questions.

Students are responsible for completing any work missed due to illness, including assignments, quizzes, tests, and exams.

Students who follow the processes outlined above will not receive a penalty for missing a class or a series of classes.

Please note, students may still be required to complete all clinical, practicum, and internship hours as regulated by external agencies and accrediting bodies.

All other non-COVID-19 related student absences are subject to policies as outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog.

Self-quarantine and Illness

Immaculata University is committed to the health and well-being of all individuals on campus. To ensure a safe environment, students who have been exposed to, are experiencing symptoms of, or are ill due to COVID-19 should contact Elise Girard, Director of Student Health Services at 484-323-3500 or egirard@immaculata.edu. Students should also refer to the Student Class Attendance Policy and may also contact the Office of Learning Support Services to request temporary learning accommodations while self quarantining.

Questions pertaining to COVID-19 learning accommodations should be directed to Jennifer Peruso, Executive Director of Learning Support Services at jperuso@immaculata.edu.

Learning Accommodations

Immaculata University is committed to providing reasonable learning accommodations for issues related to COVID-19. Students considered at high risk by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), who would like to request reasonable learning accommodations, should complete a COVID-19 Request for Learning Accommodations form (users will be required to sign into their Immaculata email account before being able to view or submit the form), along with the COVID-19 Medical Information Request form. Immaculata University returning students are requested to completed the form by August 7, 2020. 

Questions pertaining to COVID-19 and learning accommodations should be directed to Jennifer Peruso, Executive Director of Learning Support Services at jperuso@immaculata.edu.

Learning Support Services

Immaculata University is committed to providing continuous learning support services for all students, in both in-person and virtual environments. All learning support services will be operating remotely, but will be providing comprehensive assistance to students throughout the Fall semester. Please e-mail Jennifer Peruso, Executive Director Learning Support Services at jperuso@immaculata.edu for any questions.

Disability Services: The Disability Services Office will be open during normal business hours, however all meetings, accommodation services, and academic coaching will be conducted via phone or MS Teams virtual platform. Please reach out to Jennifer Peruso at jperuso@immaculata.edu for any questions or visit our webpage at IU Disability Services for further information.

Testing Center: The testing center will be closed while the campus is virtual. Please visit IU Disability Services for further information on testing accommodations in the virtual environment.

Writing Center: The IU Writing Center’s (WC) programming, including tutoring, will remain online only for Fall semester in order to effectively serve our mission. The Writing Center will offer both asynchronous (“e-tutoring”) and synchronous (“online”) one-to-one writing sessions. Please visit the Writing Center webpage at My WC Online for more information and to schedule an appointment

Math Center: The IU Math Center will be open during normal business hours, however all meetings will be conducted via phone or virtual platform. Tutoring sessions will be held via phone or virtual platform. Please reach out to Dr. Del Ferster, Director Math Center at dferster@immaculata.edu for any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Peer Tutoring: The Peer Tutoring Office will be open during normal business hours, however all meetings will be conducted via phone or virtual platform. Tutoring sessions will be held via phone or virtual platform. Students and Peer Tutors will schedule sessions via direct email or phone communication. Students requesting a peer tutor should complete the Peer Tutor Request Form or email Brittanie Covatta, Tutoring Services Coordinator at bcovatta@immaculata.edu.

Academic Support Services

Immaculata University will provide academic student support services through virtual meetings via MS Teams, GoogleMeet and Zoom or other comparable offered through alternative modalities. However, the University is open for business and here to support your success. Students may request a face to face meeting, which but will be scheduled in an alternate location that follows the CDC/PDE guidelines for social distancing (conference room, classroom, or outside).

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