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Academics

The SCU caliber of instruction continues to be intellectually rigorous, student-focused, and grounded in the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, care for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.


The Learning Environment

Last spring students provided invaluable feedback on their recent remote learning experiences, and we have continued to draw upon student feedback and expertise in online instructional design to guide faculty in developing courses that take advantage of the latest technology and best online teaching practices to bring enhanced and inclusive learning opportunities to our students. With every course redesigned to optimize the remote nature of instruction, students experience a variety of flexible course modalities—a mix of real-time, professor-led classes, recorded lectures, activities and assignments, virtual class discussions with classmates and instructors, and one-on-one online time with professors. Faculty record course content so students across all time zones have access.


LEVL Up (Learn and Embrace Virtual Learning) Mini-Course

Students have the opportunity to participate in LEVL Up (Learning and Engaging in Virtual Learning, a mini-course created by Santa Clara students for SCU students to support you as a virtual learner. This optional course on Camino is for everyone -- first year students through seniors -- and you can start any time. Actually, now is a perfect time to start!  

LEVL Up is designed to help you identify what's working and what's not working for you in your online courses. Then it gives you tools and strategies to get even better. Last, it challenges you to try one new thing to improve as a virtual learner.

If you're still not sure, check this out: over 3,200 Santa Clara students have started the course, over 2,000 badges have been distributed, and over 400 students will receive a certificate for already completing all LEVL Up activities. This could be you!

For those of you who have completed the LEVL Up course, congratulations! We are putting the final touches on certificates. These will be sent directly to your SCU email in the coming days. 

If nothing else, try to follow this advice by Ryan, one of our LEVL Up Student Leaders: 

"Believe in the skills you have now... there's a reason why you're here."


Calendar, Registration & Enrollment

The January 4 - March 19 dates for the Winter quarter 2020-21 undergraduate academic calendar are unchanged. All courses will begin January 4 fully online to start. Courses that include modified in-person instructional activities will begin through remote instruction on January 4 and commence in-person activities on or after February 1 (dependent on public health orders). 

For more information on winter 2021 undergraduate enrollment deadlines, please view the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Calendar. Students will have until January 8 to make changes to their class schedule. If you have specific questions regarding class availability or registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Unit Overload Policies

Student registration policies differ for different registration windows. Students can confirm the dates of their registration windows by going to their student center on e-campus and selecting “Enrollment.”

First Registration Window (November 23, 2020 - January 3, 2021). Students may enroll in no more than 19 units during this registration window, unless they meet one of the following criteria: they have a declared major in Engineering, Physics, or Engineering Physics; or they have completed 131 units and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 or higher. Students meeting these criteria may enroll in up to 20 units during their first registration window without approval from a University Adviser in the Drahmann Center. An additional 2-unit class or two 1-unit classes can be added via an online add form which can be found on the Office of the Registrar website.  

Late Registration Window (January 4- 8, 2021). Students may enroll in more than 19 units (more than 20 units for Engineering, Physics and Engineering Physics majors) during this registration window, which is the first week of the quarter. Students who are in the University Honors Program or have a  cumulative grade point average at Santa Clara of at least 3.3, may enroll in up to 25 units without approval from the Drahmann Center. Upper division students who do not meet these criteria may overload up to 25 units only with approval from the Drahmann Center.  Any student wishing to register for more than 25 units must obtain approval from the Dean of the Drahmann Center. To request permission to add overload units, please go to the Drahmann Center website and complete the Petition for Unit Overload - Winter 2021 form. If a class is closed, a permission number from the instructor or department is required.


Coursework and Grading

The standard grading policies and regulations are in place for the 2020-21 academic year, including the standard Pass/No Pass policy. The deadline to change a class from letter grade to Pass/No Pass is Friday, January 29, 2021.

All winter undergraduate classes have detailed class notes (e.g., what percent is synchronous vs. asynchronous, class recordings for those not able to attend in real time, exam information, etc.) in both eCampus and CourseAvail. We encourage students to review and confirm their current class schedule or search for alternative classes that better fit their schedule.


Academic Resources for Students

The following suite of academic support services are available online; limited in-person offerings may also be available in some areas. Any student coming to campus to access facilities or services will be required to follow all safety protocols including wearing a face covering at all times, maintaining social distancing and completing daily symptom checks. Testing or other screening may be required for access to these buildings. SCU campus facilities will have reduced occupancy limits to comply with State and County restrictions.the following suite of online academic support services are available for students. We encourage you to visit these websites and make appointments to meet with our staff if you have questions or need support.

  • The University Learning Commons and Library plans to open this winter via a reservation system to support students and faculty who need access to quiet study/instruction space and reliable internet access. The planned start date for this service will be posted on the library services guide by December 23rd. Although open hours and capacity will be limited, the Learning Commons will continue to provide access to electronic resources through its website and physical materials through its pick-up service and residential delivery service, as well as virtual reference consultations and information literacy instruction.
  • Benson Memorial Center will be open at reduced capacity to provide study space for students with unreliable internet access. Students will be required to follow all safety protocols, including wearing a face covering at all times, maintaining social distance, and completing daily symptom checks.
  • Academic Technology provides a broad range of technology resources, equipment and services, including:
    • Technology help for: Zoom, Camino, eCampus and other campus technology
    • Technology training in several formats including: classes, open lab hours, consultations, and web help that are tailored to help users learn campus software  
  • Academic Advising: Students can meet with an academic advisor in the John B. Drahmann Academic Advising and Learning Resources Center to begin planning for Spring quarter and next year. Visit the Drahmann Center website and select “Make an Appointment” to schedule an appointment time.
  • Tutoring appointments are available for many subjects including Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, and Modern Languages. Students can schedule weekly appointments  for the duration of the term. Visit the Tutoring Center website for a list of available subjects or to make an appointment. For tailored writing and math support, visit the HUB Writing Center and Math Learning Center.  
  • The Office of Accessible Education (OAE) is designated by the University to ensure equal access for students with disabilities to all academic and University programs. Students with disabilities seeking academic accommodations may apply online, documentation guidelines are also provided to assist students with submitting appropriate documentation. Please email oae@scu.edu to learn more or to schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor. You may also visit our website for daily virtual drop-in hours.
  • HUB Writing Center
  • Math Learning Center
  • OneStop Enrollment (Bursar’s Office and Financial Aid Office)
  • Registrar

Labs, Performance, and Specialty Courses and Research

We have implemented a phased return for laboratory and studio art research activities. Student participation in on-campus research follows the provisions of the SCU COVID-19 Research Resumption Plan.  In October 2020 we advanced to Stage 3 of SCU's Resumption Plan which allowed for the safe expansion of research activities, including more faculty and students returning to our laboratories.  The December 3, 2020 regional Stay at Home Order has required us to temporarily scale back most on-campus research activity.  We anticipate our research activity resuming to Stage 3 levels upon cessation of the Stay at Home Order.  


Programs Abroad

SCU has suspended all Winter and Spring 2021 programs abroad, in the interest of the health and safety of our students.The fluctuating nature of COVID-19 has made it increasingly difficult for SCU to plan for or provide the same level of care at each of our many program locations abroad. Globally, pandemic outbreaks continue to ebb and flow. Universities around the world continue to remain primarily online and offer limited housing options. Many embassies and consulates are not issuing student visas. Many countries have travel bans in place barring US citizens from entry and quarantine requirements for exceptions. More information about the impacts of this decision can be found on the Study Abroad COVID 19 FAQs site.

Many departments across the University are launching virtual global programs for students at this time.  We encourage students interested in a global experience at SCU to apply for a study abroad opportunity for the 2021-22 academic year. As well, the Global Innovation Fellowship and Global Community Engagement Fellowship will launch in January 2021. There are new Global Virtual Internships available for Summer 2021.  To help support our international students who are not able to enter the United States due to travel, visa and covid restrictions, we have created a new study abroad program specifically for international undergraduate students in China, The SCU Shanghai Start Program

The semester-length program will take place across Winter and Spring Quarters 2021.