Update on Our Planning for the Spring Term
A message from Stephanie Browner, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs
We have learned much in the last few months about COVID-19, its spread, and the preventive measures necessary to keep our urban campus as safe as possible. As we continue to follow best practices outlined by the Centers for Disease Control, State of New York, and in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s guidelines for reopening colleges and universities, we are also focusing intently on our academic plans for the spring term. While there are still many details that need to be worked out, we are writing today to share updates on a number of important decisions we have made.
As we shared at the beginning of this semester, faculty members across every college and department have redesigned their courses and curricula for online learning. And incredible things are happening in these virtual classrooms, from guest lectures by former FBI Director Andrew McCabe to a multidisciplinary improvisational artists lab to a sci-art film festival. We are excited by how our faculty and students have embraced the virtual medium to advance learning.
Our plan for the spring reflects our priorities for phasing in in-person activities: protecting the health and safety of the entire New School community and the neighbors with whom we interact; maintaining the highest-quality teaching, learning, research, and creative practice; and ensuring equitable access to classes and other learning activities for all students.
Here’s an outline of our plan for the spring.
The majority of classes will continue to be taught online. Online learning is consistent with the high priority we place on the well-being of our community and preventing the spread of the virus. Similar to the fall term, the spring online learning experience will be high touch and tailored to each student’s needs. Spring 2021 course registration will open November 30.
We will deliver limited in-person curricular offerings on our campus in New York City. The university has created hybrid course options that will offer students the opportunity to study on our New York campus. These courses combine engaging online learning with an intensive in-person component, in which students attend one on-campus, small-group instructional offering in compliance with social distancing guidelines. The instruction will take place throughout the spring 2021 term to limit the number of students on campus at any time. Some individual programs are exploring additional hybrid courses and in-person learning experiences to meet the academic needs of respective programs.
We will continue to take gradual, measured steps to expand access to select portions of The New School campus for in-person learning, creative making, research, independent study, and artistic studies, including access to study and rehearsal spaces, specialized equipment, workshops, instruments, tools, and materials. While we are working to safely reopen campus spaces as quickly as possible, access will continue to be limited to comply with social distancing guidelines. Our goal is to open additional spaces for students in all stages of their academic careers. Each college will be following up with students to provide more specific information within the next several weeks.
Residence Halls will continue to be available on a limited basis. We plan to expand access and capacity in spring, while still taking all necessary steps to meet required social distancing guidelines. Housing will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Please visit our Housing page for more information.
We are exploring opportunities to extend the Global Offsite Semester for the spring term to continue serving students outside the United States. We will share more information soon.
All of us—faculty and staff across our university—are here to support the educational experience and ultimate success of every student at The New School. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and commitment to joining us in this critical effort to make the Spring 2021 term safe and successful for everyone.