Fall 2020 Update #2: Your Academic Experience

Dear Students and Families,

We write today to share more details on Champlain’s plans for the fall semester academic experience. We know that understanding what your academic life and on-campus experience will look like this fall is important in your planning and decision-making process. You will receive a separate message next week about campus housing. This message focuses on your learning experience and includes:

  • what to expect academically and how our plans for the fall differ from the Spring 2020 experience
  • specifics about the Flex-Hybrid format and how it differs from online classes
  • information about your fall schedule 
  • opportunities to learn more

We are committed to a flexible and accessible experience for all our students, no matter what the ongoing pandemic brings. We are confident that we can continue to deliver the career-relevant, engaging education that brought you to Champlain.

Fall 2020: What to Expect

Our faculty and academic staff are thoughtfully and proactively planning for Fall 2020 in ways that were not possible when we transitioned to remote instruction this spring under emergency conditions. We are putting the insights we gained from our evaluation of the spring term into practice and engaging in course design processes that build on the deep expertise of our faculty. 

  • All courses for the fall are undergoing a design and approval process and are expected to meet new Fall 2020 Course Standards to ensure consistency of quality learning experiences that meet our high standards. 
  • All courses will be based in the Canvas Learning Management System, which will enable predictable, consistent communication about assignments, grades and student progress.
  • All students can expect consistent “real time” interactions with their faculty and their peers on a weekly basis; opportunities for one-on-one engagement with their professor; class community and relationship building; and collaborative projects and focused conversations. 
  • All students should anticipate that some of their classes will be conducted entirely virtually.
  • Faculty members who will be offering instruction remotely will be equipped with a professional grade camera and microphone to ensure accessible, high quality broadcasts. 
  • Students who wish to participate in classes from home will receive the technology support they need to succeed. The College is committed to working with students to ensure they have the software and technology necessary for full participation.
  • Academic life on campus will reflect new safety measures to mitigate exposure to COVID-19, including physical distancing, required face coverings, staggered schedules, new classroom layouts, one-way hallways, and enhanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols.

How Flex-Hybrid Works

In the Flex-Hybrid model, students will engage directly with faculty and peers in a real-time, live learning environment, but the amount and type of in-class, in-person or virtual engagement time will vary by course subject and instructor design. Some faculty members will be present on campus, while others will provide instruction entirely virtually. Each student who requires or prefers remote learning will be able to access all their courses meaningfully, including through high-quality live broadcast and other real-time designs. Here are a few examples of Flex-Hybrid courses:

  • Your discussion-based course could be facilitated by an instructor broadcasting live from a remote location to a small group of students in the classroom and to other students who are participating virtually. 
  • Your experiential learning course or lab may meet twice weekly with an instructor joining half the students on one day of the week, and the other half on the second meeting day of the week. Students accessing remotely would do so in a tutorial model that provides access to real-time coaching.
  • Your course may use recorded mini-lectures by the professor that you watch any time in the assigned week, followed by facilitated group work that takes place in real time (synchronously) in the classroom or remotely.

Flex-Hybrid vs. Online: What’s the Difference?

The Flex-Hybrid model and Online learning model offer two different student experiences. The Flex-Hybrid model simulates the traditional classroom experience, while most Online learning does not require students to log-in at specific times or have real-time meetings with classmates and instructors. 

In the Flex-Hybrid model, students will experience a combination of independent work, learning together as a class with the professor (either in-person or virtually), peer collaboration, and additional personalized one-on-one faculty instruction. 

Champlain is making a significant investment in our classrooms and technology services to ensure that the real-time teaching and face-to-face engagement between faculty and students will reflect the traditional classroom experience, whether a student is physically present in the classroom or not. In this context, tuition for the Fall 2020 semester will remain at the originally posted rates for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Fall 2020 Schedules

Over the summer, updates will be made to Fall 2020 courses to reflect new start/stop times, locations and formats of courses. Returning students will be able to see these changes as they are made in Student Planning.

New incoming students will have access to their preliminary fall schedule in Student Planning beginning July 22. 

Starting on July 22nd, all students will have support from their advisors on the Registrar’s team to adjust their schedule to take advantage of additional in-person or remote classes, depending on their individual preferences and needs as well as availability. 

Please understand that we do anticipate schedule shifts for new and returning students after July 22, but want to provide access to the information we have in late July to facilitate your planning for the Fall 2020 semester.

The College has changed the Fall 2020 billing schedule to allow students time to revise their schedule and housing requests prior to the bill due date. Statements will be released from Student Accounts the week of July 6 and are due August 10.

Your Questions, Answered

To share a few examples of how the Flex-Hybrid Model will work in practice we will host a webinar with a panel of your faculty in early July. Faculty will share some of the many creative ideas they have for structuring their courses based on our standards and core values. Webinar details will be forthcoming.

We’ve also compiled a list of FAQs related to the Flex-Hybrid Model and the fall experience on our COVID-19 website. If, after reading this message and reviewing the website, you have additional questions or concerns, please write to us at feedback@champlain.edu. As a reminder, we are planning to send a communication next week regarding fall room and board.

We understand how hard the uncertainty around your fall schedule and possible changes to the plans you thoughtfully designed last spring must be. Your faculty are committed to delivering the Champlain College experience you value and look forward to reconnecting with each of you.  


The Academic Affairs Team