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Move to Remote Learning for the 2020-21 Academic Year – Message to Students & Student FAQ’s

June 16, 2020

Dear Unity College Students,

I know that everyone is eager to learn more about our planning for fall, the decisions we have made and more details about the learning options that we are providing for our students.  Over the last several weeks, faculty and staff have worked closely with college leadership through a variety of open meetings and communications to offer insight and suggestions. One of the many things that makes me so proud to work with everyone at Unity College, is the consistent commit to students and putting you first.  Additional information can be found on theFAQ page.

Our planning has sought to mitigate risks to our students and employees.  It has focused on our goal of providing multiple options for our students to make progress on their educational aspirations.  The good news is that we have spent many years, prior to the pandemic, developing our ability to deliver high-quality, immersive learning experiences in multiple pedagogical modalities.  We know that some of you want to learn online and others of you want to be in-person and in-residence.  When conditions allow, we will return to in-person instruction and until that time we are offering plans for all our students, in all majors, to follow their academic passions and earn their Unity College degree.

Instruction and Academics

In the interest of the health and safety of all our students and employees, students will not take in-person classes while concerns about risks associated with COVID-19 persist.  Therefore, it is our intention to delay the start of in-person classes until we can return safely in traditional numbers to our College locations.  All courses will be taught remotely through Hybrid Learning or online through Distance Education in 5-week terms for the 2020-2021 academic year.  The good news for our students, is that all students, regardless of major, can continue taking the classes they need to continue making progress on earning their degrees, including declared double majors and minors.  In addition, all remote or online courses will be offered at the Hybrid Learning tuition rate which is significantly less than the Flagship tuition rate. 

The 5-week calendar will enable us to reevaluate periodically to resume in-person classes as conditions allow.  We can do our part in protecting health while responding to your request to provide robust learning experiences without interruption.  For students currently enrolled in Flagship programs, you can expect a follow-up email with a personalized plan of study to complete your degree and an updated description of costs and available financial aid.  You will be provided with a personal Hybrid Learning Coach who will review your course options with you and recommend the best path forward.  When circumstances allow, these options will include both face-to-face and online courses.

Residential Student Housing

Our housing plans are also subject to the restrictions of local public health authorities and will follow our decisions regarding the timing of in-person instruction.  On-campus housing will be an option for the terms in which we are delivering face-to-face instruction.   

Hybrid Learning Student Activities and Events

As we continue to take a pause on in-person events, we will offer remote opportunities for student involvement with clubs, academic support services, and other student-focused engagement. I encourage you to stay connected with the staff and faculty of Unity College even while you are learning and living remotely.

Distance Education Students

Those students in 100% online Distance Education programs will not experience any disruptions to their online learning environment.  Consistent with our regular practice, you should reach out to your Distance Education Advisor with any questions.

Maintaining the Safety of our Physical Locations

We are phasing employees back to the workplace as guided by recommendations from the State of Maine and the CDC. This phased approach is intended to help prevent and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus among employees, continue business operations, and create a healthy workplace. By gradually introducing employees to a modified workplace, employees can provide feedback on workplace modifications in time to allow adjustments and be ready for welcoming our students to return in person when it is safe to do so. 

Additional information can be found on the FAQ page.

We look forward to the time when we can welcome everyone back to our physical locations.  Although pandemic conditions continue to evolve, we will attempt to notify everyone at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the term in which residential options for learning, teaching, living, and dining resume.  Until that time, we remain resolute in our commitment to your academic success.  We continue to update our COVID-19 website with our latest responses to the pandemic situation.  Please continue to check your Unity emails as we communicate with additional details relating to the new academic year.  Stay well, protect yourselves and those close to you, and know that we can persevere with resilience and grace.

MPK

Dr. Melik Peter Khoury

President

Unity College