Fall Semester FAQ
Updates to this page are in progress. Please check back frequently as we continue to answer more frequently asked questions related to the fall semester.
Davidson College announced plans for a “13-Week Plus” calendar for the fall. The following Q&A will help explain what that means and how that decision was reached.
What does “13-Week Plus” mean?
- No on-campus classes after Thanksgiving.
- A floating start date (so the start date can be determined later, depending on external circumstances).
- Conducting exams remotely (students will be off campus) and possibly holding some classes remotely, depending on the start date.
- An expectation that courses could be delivered either in person or remotely.
- An understanding that faculty members will redesign courses for a 13 week class schedule.
What is the advantage of this schedule?
- It provides a starting point to ground other decisions for the fall.
- It accommodates Davidson’s existing course schedule, provides flexibility for different start dates, is preferred by students, and mitigates the risk of an outbreak (students would not leave for Thanksgiving and then return). This recommendation is based on the analysis by the Academic Calendar Design Team, made up of faculty, staff and students, and on feedback received from across the campus community.
How did you reach this decision?
- After students returned home in mid-March, President Quillen authorized the creation of seven design teams to analyze scenarios for how the college will operate in the fall. Students, faculty and staff volunteered for the teams.
- The Academic Calendar Design Team narrowed the calendar to two options, “13 Weeks Plus” and a “2 x 2” block schedule, and sought feedback from across the community.
- The “13 Weeks Plus” plan emerged as the clear preference and was presented to the Faculty Executive Committee. The committee recommended that schedule to President Quillen, who is sharing it with senior leadership and the trustees. It is likely to be enacted within a few days.
Will students be given the workload of a 15-week course in one that is shorter?
- Faculty will redesign courses for the 13-week-plus semester.
Health & Wellness
Are there any exemptions to wearing a facemask?
Students are required to wear face coverings when indoors or outdoors and in a group setting, including when in a face to face class setting. Faculty should include this expectation in their course syllabi and should direct students who arrive at class without a face covering that they cannot participate until they have one. In the event that there is a student who is unable for health reasons to wear a mask in the class setting, that student should work with the Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources on identifying reasonable accommodations. Faculty will be notified by the Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources if a student has an accommodation related to the face covering rule. Accommodations must be reasonable and must be tailored to the individual student's needs, so it is not possible to identify a standard accommodation in advance. Accommodations could include, for example, the student participating in courses remotely or wearing a face shield. This list is not exhaustive. As the college determines reasonable accommodations, public health needs will be an important consideration.
Contact information for the Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources: Beth Bleil, Director, email@example.com, 704-894-2129; or Alysen Beaty, Assistant Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 704-894-2939.
How can I get Technology & Innovation support?
Please visit T&I’s COVID-19 resources page, which will be updated as more information and technical resources for the fall semester become available.