Academics & Classrooms
Jacksonville University’s goal is to offer as much in-person instruction and hands-on learning as we safely can. To do that, each person must take appropriate safety precautions in line with guidance from the CDC and other public health experts.
The University will offer a combination of in-person instruction in the classroom and online formats such as live streaming, recorded lectures, and online assignments. This model allows us to continue providing high-quality educational experiences while maintaining a healthy campus.
In line with the latest guidance from public health experts, all students and faculty are required to wear masks in the classroom, even when maintaining appropriate physical distance. Labs, service learning and applied learning courses may require more personal protective gear. These requirements will be determined by the faculty member teaching the course or the partner organization.
Jacksonville University’s small class sizes work to our benefit under this plan. Classrooms will be reconfigured with room-specific layouts to maintain the appropriate physical distance among all individuals. Some course sections may be moved to larger rooms or split into smaller groups. Please check your course schedule for updated classroom assignments.
Many public health experts advise that the nation could see another spike in COVID-19 cases in late fall, coinciding with the start of flu season. If this does occur, it presents a greater risk for members of our community as we return to campus from traveling to see our families during the Thanksgiving break.
To address this possibility -- and in consideration of helpful input from our outside consultants, faculty, senior leaders, and our own students and families -- Jacksonville University has modified our 2020-2021 academic calendar to start the fall semester one week early, on August 17, 2020. We will complete all fall courses by November 24, 2020, ahead of the Thanksgiving break. This allows students more time with their families during the holidays, reduces the need for more travel through busy airports during flu season, and may reduce the risk to our campus.
Graduate and professional studies students have a slightly different calendar, including some course work that will be fully online after Thanksgiving. More information is available on the page for graduate and professional studies students.
The changes to the 2020-21 academic calendar allow the University to offer a shorter, fully online winter term. All classes in the winter term will be discounted at $300 per credit hour. The winter semester, which is optional, is designed for students who would like to continue earning credits during the longer break and accelerate their path to graduation. The term begins on Monday, December 7, 2020, and ends on Friday, January 15, 2021. More details regarding the course offerings in this new term will be announced later this summer.
The University will upgrade technology in nearly 100 classrooms to allow faculty to live stream their classes to students attending virtually while also having students physically in the classroom. The upgrades will allow virtual students to see, hear, and speak to the faculty and students in the physical room.
In order to fully benefit from the hybrid instruction model this fall, all current and incoming students must own or have access to a laptop computer and/or other appropriate technology to adequately support access to virtual course work. This also enhances our ability to quickly pivot to online learning formats in response to any health or safety issues that may arise.
Service Learning classes, Internships, and Applied Learning classes will be permitted in line with social distancing guidelines, and as long as the agency/organization allows JU students into their facilities. In lab courses, additional personal protective gear may be required.
In our Fine Arts programs applied study, including studio, one-on-one music instruction and rehearsals will be accomplished in spaces large enough for proper social distancing (including outdoor spaces) with the use of masks and shields as feasible per the discipline. We continue to monitor the research and literature on best practices for performing arts applied instruction.
Update: Jacksonville University is aware of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement announcement dated July 6, 2020, regarding online education and is working with attorneys and experts to develop a plan which will best allow International Students to continue their education while adhering to all immigration laws. Communication will be forthcoming as decisions are finalized.
Our international students are very important to us, and we are committed to working closely with them to address their unique needs. The University is monitoring decisions made at the federal level and we will work to offer flexible options that allow our international students to continue their education at JU. As these decisions are finalized, the University will communicate directly with impacted students. Any international students with questions are encouraged to reach out to Louis Reich at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.