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Part of Gonzaga’s mission is to meet students where they are - in this case attending remotely or on campus. We feel this is possible if members of this community live out our values of mutual respect and support for one another. Taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection (or any other spread of disease) is a shared responsibility. Every community member must do their part to be safe and follow the essential practices and guidance as outlined in the Staff, Faculty and Student Employee Return to Campus Guide and Student Arrival and Return to Gonzaga Guide. The key behaviors that will help mitigate risk and allow us to continue the Gonzaga experience are:
- Staying at home when ill with or exposed to COVID-19
- Maintaining adequate physical distance from others (at least 6 feet)
- Wearing a face covering whenever in the presence of others
- Practicing hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Cleaning and disinfecting regularly
As a mid-size, private university, we have the ability to offer flexibility to our students and families, so they can make their own decisions regarding the best academic model and their personal preference for living arrangements for the coming year.
Academic courses will be delivered in a variety of ways this fall, including in person, face-to-face via remote technology, and in a hybrid format of the two. Courses being taught in-person will be offered in interactive “live” remote mode where possible. All courses can be accessed – synchronously or asynchronously – online. As a result, students who wish to study remotely for fall semester may do so.
It’s important to note that the campus experience will be much different than it was before the pandemic. This is not business as usual. Many restrictions and limitations will need to be observed by everyone in order to create as safe of an environment as possible.
More than 110 staff and faculty members have been involved with the Pandemic Response Task Force. They have spent the past few months examining a variety of issues facing the University as we work to re-open the campus, including class schedules and sequencing, safe operations campus-wide, support for those who fall ill and require quarantine or isolation, management of gatherings, use of personal protective equipment such as face coverings, regulation of visitors and building access. They have worked closely with the Spokane Regional Health District to put safety measures in place that, when followed, will help mitigate the risk of spreading the virus. Ten distinctive and interrelated plans were produced and approved by the Board of Trustees that form the basis for returning to campus safely and successfully during this time of COVID-19.
Faculty have determined the modes for their courses, and that information is available on ZagWeb. We will work with any student who has issues or concerns with their schedule based on the chosen method for their courses. As so many of these circumstances are out of our control, courses may all switch to remote for unspecified periods of time, but for now there are multiple options being considered and proposed. As fall semester approaches, more information about each course’s chosen method will be available.
Faculty are preparing to offer their courses in an interactive “live” remote mode where possible, even if they have chosen face-to-face/in-person, or a hybrid teaching, approach. As such, it will be possible for students who wish to do so to pursue their studies remotely for Fall semester. Our faculty are working tirelessly to identify the best ways to facilitate their courses. The way classes will be taught will vary from course to course but are likely to include a combination of face-to-face and remote learning. Courses will be built to ensure the highest quality instruction and consistency while promoting student engagement and participation.
Here are three options for classes this Fall:
- Face-to-Face/In-Person Instruction: Traditional classes where your attendance option is in-person, in a physical classroom or space, without the option of attending remotely. These courses will be noted with specific class meeting times and without mention of either “Remote Hybrid” or “Remote Only.”
- Remote Hybrid: You will have the option of attending the class in-person as well as/or remotely and synchronously during the regularly scheduled times. You may have to attend some classes in-person on some days and remotely (via Zoom) on other days. There is no expectation that you must attend any classes in-person if attending remotely only is preferred; attendance via Zoom-only is an option.
- Remote Only (synchronous remote): Instruction will be delivered using Zoom. Most (or even all) class meetings are synchronous with you and faculty meeting remotely at established times. There is no option to attend ‘remote only’ classes in-person in a physical setting.
The number of positive cases has steadily increased across the country over the summer, including in Spokane. Accordingly, we ask that you self-quarantine for the seven (7) days prior to arriving in Spokane and employ COVID-19 public health measures (wearing cloth face coverings when in public, limiting contact with other people and physical distancing, no attendance at large gatherings or parties, etc.).
If you are feeling ill, have COVID-19 related symptoms, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should NOT come to campus. You should be tested and quarantine until receiving the results of the test. You may work with your advisor and Housing & Residence life staff to create a return plan that keeps you on your academic track.
While we have not taken a position on whether students should, or should not, take a COVID-19 test prior to arriving on campus, Gonzaga will be offering and administering COVID-19 tests on campus with the support and advice of the Spokane Regional Health District. Please note that our approach to testing is subject to change based on continued coordination with and guidance from health officials.
The virus most often does not present a positive test result for at least 7-10 days after it is contracted, which is why students who may have been exposed must quarantine until results are received.
Informed by our university-wide efforts to adapt to the pandemic – including new investments in technology, personal safety, and facilities – tuition has been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year.
We recognize that changes in the mode of delivery, to include virtual or hybrid courses, differs from a traditional face-to-face classroom experience. Gonzaga faculty have risen to the challenge in adapting coursework and content to flexible modes of delivery, bolstered by investments in classroom technology, online tools to support learning, and instructional design. Our faculty and staff colleagues throughout the university remain committed to a high impact and personal experience with our students in all settings, particularly in these difficult and confusing times. Together, our learning community will continue to adapt and respond to the needs of our students throughout this difficult time, guided by our Jesuit tradition of a transformational education and cura personalis.
If you have had financial challenges, please consider filing a financial aid appeal.
Tuition adjustments will continue to be available to withdrawing students depending on the date of withdrawal as set forth in the University’s policy on tuition adjustment and withdrawals.
Lab, course, and activity fees have been reviewed and reduced where appropriate and such adjustments are reflected, as applicable, on the Fall 2020 billing statement. Further reduction of lab, course, and other activity fees may be needed as the semester moves forward.
Other required undergraduate fees will be assessed and adjusted as follows:
The technology fee remains unchanged and will, in part, supplement the investments made in classroom and other digital technology to accommodate hybrid and online coursework.
- The fitness center fee, an otherwise required fee for full-time undergraduate students and optional fee for graduate students, will not be assessed for the fall semester.
- The University will endeavor to open and make available the Rudolf Fitness Center, subject to health and safety considerations, use limitations and protocols when the University is authorized to do so by the State of Washington and the Spokane Regional Health District. Undergraduate students who have already been charged the fee will have it reversed in the next month.
Gonzaga’s faculty, staff and administration are dedicated to delivering the same academic excellence, rooted in our Catholic, Jesuit and humanistic mission, regardless of the mode of delivery. In addition, students’ access to an active, supportive alumni community, as well as robust career and academic success resources remains unchanged.
Gonzaga’s early and deep investment in the delivery of distance education, together with what we learned through the spring 2020 semester, provides a foundation for the University to provide an excellent remote learning experience consistent with our mission. Gonzaga is prepared to deliver course material for the fall 2020 semester in multiple ways, including face-to-face in-person delivery, and face-to-face remote delivery both synchronously and asynchronously.
This summer, the University made a major investment in technology to advance its remote learning capabilities. Professionals in Gonzaga’s Instructional Design and Delivery department – who create and deliver online courses – and the skilled faculty and advisors in the Center for Teaching and Advising are eager to ensure an exceptional educational experience for students.
Gonzaga’s approach to distance learning was founded – and remains focused on – academic rigor, personalized instruction, faculty support, service-learning and ethics. Gonzaga’s leadership in online education traces back to 1998 with the development of graduate distance education offerings. In 2015, Gonzaga became the nation’s first Jesuit university to control all aspects of its online programs in-house.
For more information, please visit Excellence in Teaching & Remote Learning.
Gonzaga learned much from the need to change on-campus operations and move to fully remote learning in the spring, and plans are in place to do so again if necessary.
We have closely collaborated with the Spokane Regional Health District on this question as it pertains to the fall. Our approach, with their agreement, is to go into the fall with the plan to manage cases on campus through health and safety provisions, testing, contact tracing, quarantining of those who have been exposed, and isolation of those who test positive. It is not feasible or safe for anyone who contracts COVID-19 to then travel home while still contagious or recovering.
If our ability to manage cases in this manner were to be overwhelmed, we would absolutely make decisions regarding operations to protect and promote the healing of our campus community.