Below is a summary of Academic Affairs planning for teaching and learning. This information and the FAQs, posted on June 30, were reviewed and remain effective July 27, 2020. We continue to develop our expectations for the fall semester and to follow Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and CDC guidance. This is up-to-date information, but we also know that our teaching and learning plans may need to change. We will continue to update this page as new information is available.
The Office of Academic Affairs is working with faculty to create instructional plans that meet social distancing expectations. Each teaching space has been measured to determine appropriate occupancy. We expect to rely on a combined approach including:
Holding classes in larger spaces
Blended instruction (in-person and online learning, sometimes called hybrid)
Virtual attendance options (having some students be physically present on alternating days with others joining class virtually)
Increasing online options
The fall academic calendar will be slightly modified. The biggest change is that the college will conclude the semester with online/remote instruction.
Classes begin Thursday, Aug. 27.
No classes Wednesday, Oct. 14.
No Fall Interim/Breakaway. Classes will be offered according to their regular schedule Oct. 19-23.
Thanksgiving break will be extended, beginning the end of day Friday, Nov. 20, and running through Sunday, Nov. 29. This allows students and faculty to have a break and prepare to transition to online learning.
Classes will resume via online delivery Monday, Nov. 30. Final examinations will be conducted online. Students may remain at home for the remainder of the fall semester if they choose.
Fall 2020 Student Learning FAQs
Concordia continues to plan for in-person instruction, but our planning for fall is dynamic and requires flexibility. At this time, we anticipate Fall 2020 courses will be offered in a variety of modes, including in-person, online and blended (a combination of in-person and online), with the majority of courses including some in-person instruction. The table below defines each schedule type and instructional method. For example, online courses may be offered synchronously, asynchronously, or a hybrid of both synchronous and asynchronous.
While a virtual attendance option will primarily be associated with traditional in-person classes, some blended courses may have virtual attendance options as well.
Schedule Type Code
Instructional Method Code
D – Online
S – Synchronous
Online-Synchronous - Class is online but "meets" at a set schedule. Students log in from wherever they are, but at the same time.
D – Online
A – Asynchronous
Online-Asynchronous - Class is online. Students do work on their own schedule. No set "meeting" times.
D – Online
HYB - Some sync, some async
Online-Some synch, some async - Class is online. Students will have some set "meeting" times and will do some work on their own schedule.
L- In Person
TR - Traditional
In Person - Traditional - Students are in class at set times and in set classrooms.
L- In Person
VO – Virtual Attendance Option
In Person - Virtual Attendance Option - Class is at set times and in set classrooms. There is the option for students to attend virtually.
BL – Blended
MO - Mostly Online
Blended-In Person & Online - Mostly Online – Class is mostly online with some in person meetings and/or classes.
BL – Blended
MIP – Mostly In Person
Blended-In Person & Online - Mostly In Person – Class is mostly in person, but with some online learning.
Adjusting schedule types and instructional methods for courses has already begun. The Registrar’s Office will be fine-tuning and solidifying course information until August 10, and it is possible that a few courses may change instructional modes, room locations, etc. after this point.
We are making every effort to follow CDC and MDH guidance, which includes maintaining social distancing in our instructional spaces. In May, each classroom was carefully reviewed to determine the social distancing capacity of the space. Social distancing capacities were determined by examining the furniture in each space and using a 6’ distance from the center of each chair. Square footage was also a factor in determining the capacities. Changes in modes of instruction allow us to respond to public health guidance as we return to in-person learning.
A virtual attendance option means that students will be able to attend the course virtually. In some cases, virtual attendance may be on a regular basis and in others, it may mean that students rotate and take turns attending virtually. This will depend on the class, the instructor’s goals for the class, and additional factors such as supporting students who may need to be in quarantine or who become ill during the semester.
Modes of instruction were adjusted to accommodate the social distancing capacities of classrooms, instructional goals, and learning outcomes. These decisions were made intentionally by instructors and department chairs, and in alignment with CDC and MDH social distancing guidance. You may elect to adjust your schedule to find classes that are delivered in a particular mode of instruction. however, individual instructors will not be able to deliver a course through multiple instructional modes; however some courses will have virtual attendance options available for students.
If you have, or think you may have, a disability (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, autism spectrum disorders, chronic health, traumatic brain injury and concussions, vision, hearing, mobility, or speech impairments), please contact Matthew Rutten to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations. Mr. Rutten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, 218.299.3514, or Old Main 109A. Students requesting accommodations must register with the Office of Disability Services. Please click this hyperlink to complete the form: Public Accommodation Request. The Health Services Office will be closed in July. For more immediate concerns during the month of July, please email SDCL@cord.edu. The College is working on equipping many classrooms with technology to enable virtual attendance for students who may need accommodations or become ill during the semester. Students who have a health condition and require an accommodation will also be able to adjust their schedules to take courses offered via virtual attendance or online.
Virtual attendance options will be available for many courses. In addition, the College’s attendance policy is being revised to afford more flexibility in attendance and participation. If you become ill or need to be quarantined, be sure to communicate with your instructors so they know about your situation and can help you access course materials. Course syllabi will outline attendance and participation expectations.
With few exceptions, you will need a good basic computer and high-speed internet access. You will likely need a camera and microphone built-in or connected to your computer. You may or may not need a computer for in-class instruction, but at some point, every student will need to use a standard computer. Today’s mobile devices are powerful, but will not meet all needs and will often limit the experience. Concordia understands not all students have access to this technology. Please contact the ITS Solution Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218.299.3375 to request technology support. Your request will be reviewed and, if appropriate, shared with other offices on campus to determine how Concordia can best assist you. Please visit the technology FAQ on the Solution Center site for more information on technology needs and expectations.
Depending on your program(s) of study, there may be online classes you can take. For first-year students, it is unlikely that you can have a fully online experience. Because the College prioritizes community and relationship building as one of its primary goals of the First-Year Experience program, Inquiry Seminars will be held in teaching spaces that accommodate in-person learning. However, first-year courses will have virtual attendance options to support students who have health accommodations or who become ill.
We recognize that some students and their families may prefer to use off-campus housing this year. To provide students with as many options as possible, Concordia has lifted the two-year live-on requirement for the 2020-21 academic year. While not an official policy, the college highly discourages students living further than 20 miles from campus to commute to campus each day. Please note: The decision to allow first- and second-year students to live off-campus only applies to the 2020-21 academic year. If a first-year student chooses to live off-campus during the 2020-21 academic year, they should be prepared to either live on campus their second year or to apply for an exemption from this policy.
We expect most labs and studios will have an in-person component. But, these experiences may meet less often and/or in smaller groups, and in-person labs and studio experiences may be supplemented with video and online learning. Your professors may share specific standard operating procedures for those spaces, necessary to meet safety expectations and ensure safe use of equipment.
Music ensembles will be formed as usual (by audition or signing up). Conductors are planning exciting, challenging, and relevant repertoire to be rehearsed in appropriately-sized groups for social distancing and following other CDC and MDH guidelines as they become available. Music lessons will be taught in person as much as possible, in some cases using larger spaces, with the possibility of remote instruction as needed for the safety of the student or the instructor.
We continue to develop our expectations for the fall semester and to follow Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and CDC guidance. This is up-to-date information, but we also know that our teaching and learning plans may change. We need to be flexible in our planning and expectations and we will inform you as soon as possible if there are changes to these plans.
Yes, at this time we are planning for two theatre productions for the fall semester and additional events, including the musical “Carousel,” in the spring semester. The theatre program is addressing physical distancing in rehearsals, and considering options involving streaming and live audiences for performances.
The online Banner course schedule will list the mode of instruction for each course, which can be found in the “Schedule Type” column. The instructional method (see codes and definitions above) is not viewable on the schedule, but you can search by instructional method in the advanced search function. The virtual attendance option is noted in the “Fees/Notes” column on the schedule. By mid-August, the College will share a brief summary of courses describing the mode of delivery and what to expect. Instructors will also communicate with enrolled students about their courses.
Adjusting schedule types and instructional methods for courses has already begun. Many 300- and 400- level courses have this information up-to-date in the Banner course schedule. The remainder of fall 2020 courses will be updated by the end of July. The Registrar’s Office will be fine-tuning and solidifying course information until Aug. 10, and it is possible that a few courses may change instructional modes, room locations, etc., after this point.
If you have any questions or concerns about your course schedule, you are encouraged to reach out to your advisor. It may be easiest to connect with them via email, and if you are interested, you can request to have a phone call or video call with them.
We are making every effort to follow CDC and MDH guidance, which includes maintaining social distancing in our instructional spaces. In May, each classroom was carefully reviewed to determine the social distancing capacity of the space. Social distancing capacities were determined by examining the furniture in each space and using a 6-foot distance from the center of each chair. Square footage was also a factor in determining the capacities. Course caps were then lowered to ensure that the social distancing capacity would be maintained.
If you are in a course that had a cap that exceeds the social distancing cap, your instructor will revise the mode of instruction (e.g., to include virtual attendance option; blended mode of instruction).
You may revise your schedule, but please note that this should be done in careful consultation with your academic advisor and that course changes will be dependent on course availability and degree requirements. Please see the questions above about how to view instructional modes.
You may revise your schedule to take more in-person classes, but it will be dependent on the social distancing capacity of the room. All course caps will be adjusted to reflect the maximum social distancing capacity.
If you would like to request an override into a class, please follow standard practice of reaching out to individual instructors who may request that you contact the department chair.
You are able to change your schedule, but you should contact your advisor to discuss a plan before making any changes. It is important to consider degree requirements and course availability not only this semester, but also the future rotation of courses so you don’t miss the opportunity to take a required course for your major.