At Wheaton, we provide a transformative liberal arts education for intellectually curious students in a collaborative, academically vibrant residential community that values a diverse world. As we work to ensure the safety of our community and make temporary adjustments to our campus and approach in the current pandemic, we must make certain that our modes of instruction honor these commitments.
Our approach will:
- Follow and operate within CDC and state safety precautions and protocols
- Prioritize student experience and success
- Leverage our strengths in teaching and mentorship
- Be accessible to all of our students
- Provide clarity for both faculty and students
- Be flexible to respond to an evolving landscape and the needs of our students
- Be logistically and financially feasible at Wheaton
An update regarding changes to the academic calendar and the spring semester were communicated to the campus community on October 6. The faculty have approved an extended Winter break that will provide space for an optional, online-only 4-week January Session. The Spring 2021 semester start will also be delayed by one week from the previously approved The Academic Calendar.
Addition of optional January 2021 Session: This four-week term will begin on January 5, 2021 and run until January 29, 2021. This period provides students the additional option to enroll in credit-bearing courses to complete degree requirements. Other options, including non-credit opportunities, will also be available during this period as well. Additional information will be circulated in the coming weeks that will include the course schedule for January Session credit-bearing courses.
Spring 2021 semester start date – Wednesday, February 3, 2021: The semester will begin one week later than previously scheduled, and there will not be a Spring Break period during the Spring 2021 semester as we continue to maintain measures for health and safety during the pandemic.
Adjusted Fall 2020 academic calendar: Classes began on Monday, August 24 and will end on Tuesday, November 24. Reading days and final exams will be administered remotely the week of November 30, 2020. Classes will be held on Labor Day (Monday, September 7) and during the October break (Monday, October 12 and Tuesday, October 13).
A Hybrid Tutorial model provides a flexible approach that honors what Wheaton College does best: residential, liberal arts education with high levels of student-faculty interaction.
- Relevant material and lectures are recorded and provided to students remotely (this could involve synchronous or asynchronous delivery, but would not take place in the classroom)
- Since the amount and type of relevant information vary by course discipline, level, and type, this aspect of the hybrid tutorial may be utilized in different ways by different courses
- Classes will operate within their scheduled class times, but the specific schedule within that time (e.g., length and timing of tutorial groups) could vary to meet the learning goals for a given week
- Each class is divided into smaller tutorial groups for meetings with faculty. Tutorial groups may:
- Meet in person when students and faculty can be on campus (and allows groups to ensure socially distancing safely in available classroom spaces)
- Meet virtually when needed, either due to a second wave or to respond to the needs of students not able to be on campus
- Any class may have one or more tutorial groups that take place virtually over the semester. International students who cannot return to campus on time or at all may participate synchronously in a tutorial group or in asynchronous discussions
- Be led fully virtually by faculty members who cannot meet in person for a portion of, or for the entire, semester
- Tutorial groups may be used for exercises, application, discussion, practice problems, hands-on practice, or other interactive components
“The goal of the [hybrid] tutorial model is not to divide the scheduled in-class time into equal parts based on the number of small groups, but to rethink the class time to encourage deeper engagement and more meaningful community building.”
(Maloney & Kim, 2020)
In regards to classes, students can now access information through InsideWheaton or via the Course Schedule to learn the course delivery mode for individual courses. Courses will be noted as “On-campus Instruction” or “Remote Only” for the Fall 2020 semester. Remember that even those classes designated as on-campus instruction will have virtual and online elements so that they can be taken by all students, including those who are not on campus. While most courses have been designated at this point, our offices will continue to update any remaining courses that are still awaiting designations. Students should check their schedule throughout the summer in case there are changes in the course delivery mode for specific courses due to unforeseen circumstances. Detailed instructions for how students can access this information were emailed from Dean Viveiros in Academic Advising to students’ Wheaton email addresses.
Classroom capacities have all been reset to allow for social distancing of six feet or more between all students and faculty.
Given that our fall semester will be slightly shorter than originally planned, students living on campus will receive a $500 one-time room and board credit. Additionally, if you choose to live off campus your merit aid will be applied in full to your tuition. Need-based aid will need to be recalculated based on your revised cost of attendance. If you have any questions about your cost of attendance, please contact Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also adjust our normal Refund Policy for students who withdraw or move off campus after the semester begins to provide more flexibility given the uncertainties. Please see the Refund Policy on the Student Financial Services website for more details.