June 10, 2020 - Update on fall semester 2020

Dear UMSL Students,

In May, we sent out a communication describing our approach to the fall 2020 semester at UMSL. We would like to give you more details about the fall schedule and explain how the updates to the schedule will be visible to you. 

We are committed to in-person class meetings supported by online learning.

At this time, we anticipate being back on campus for the full UMSL experience in the fall with a schedule of flexible options for students to safely come together to learn in-person and online. We love interacting with you in person and miss the physical presence of our campus community. However, we are mindful that there may be future stay-at-home orders should circumstances change and that public health officials may extend guidance for safety measures such as continued social distancing. Consult UMSL’s COVID-19 website for the most current information.

Fall 2020 will offer blended and online courses.

To accommodate the various possibilities, our approach has been to increase online offerings to maximize flexibility in your fall course schedules while also increasing online elements in your face-to-face classes to prepare for a potential transition to remote learning if needed. This infusion of online learning into an in-person course is called blended learning. Faculty have worked diligently to design their courses with best practices to combine a clearly communicated pattern of face-to-face class meetings with online learning experiences for a blended delivery.

For those unfamiliar with blended learning, these courses incorporate the strengths of both face-to-face and online learning to create a unique and quality experience that makes best use of each environment. As we transition face-to-face courses to a blended delivery, no action will be required from students already enrolled and a change will not result in additional fees for our students. UMSL is waiving all blended and online fees for the summer and fall semesters.

Soon, we are going to begin moving most classes with capacities of 50+ to online. This will help ensure that we are meeting social distancing guidelines on campus, which is harder to achieve with larger courses. Courses that have two or three components (LEC/LAB/RSD) will have only the LEC portion moved to online at this time, with the hope the RSD (Discussion) and LAB can still meet on campus in some capacity.

We are waiving all blended and online fees.

This spring truly has been a semester filled with learning for all of us. We are so grateful that you have chosen to learn with us at UMSL, and our staff and faculty advisors are ready to assist you as you enroll in summer and fall courses. Remember that we are waiving all online fees for summer 2020 and fall 2020, so now is a great time to earn credits and keep on track towards earning your degree.

UMSL cares about you and your educational success.

We recognize that many students struggle to have the resources they need even in the best of circumstances. We encourage you to visit the Student Social Services website to find information on resources including food assistance, parenting support and community support. We also have our Keep Learning website that provides links to many resources to assist you now and in future semesters. Please contact your advisor or academic coach if you feel that you don’t have the technology you need to be successful.  

UMSL faculty and staff are refining plans for returning to campus. Our classrooms may look a little different as we schedule classes in new spaces or as the furniture is reconfigured to help us meet safety guidelines. We will share more detailed information as we approach the fall.

We are proud of our students and graduates.

We are proud of the resilience and dedication you have demonstrated during this past spring semester. Despite the complications and challenges, your hard work has been admirable. To our spring and summer graduates – we wish you a heartfelt congratulations and look forward to celebrating your accomplishments at our in-person celebrations in December. To our new and continuing students, we look forward to welcoming you to campus this fall.

As we move forward, we recognize and stand with you in overcoming challenges that we are currently facing as both a society and a community. Together, as a Triton community, we will work to create change while striving to foster a positive learning environment.

Stay safe and stay connected,

Kristin Sobolik
University of Missouri–St. Louis