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Teaching and Learning

With excellence in student learning as our fundamental goal, Santa Clara University has devoted extensive time and resources to build upon the lessons, technologies, and experiences gained when we shifted suddenly to 100% remote learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we look to a phased reopening of campus, we are excited to be developing innovative, flexible, inclusive, and adaptive methods for educating our students. Dedicated faculty will maximize students' in-person experiences while augmenting the learning environment with new technologies and modes of teaching, learning, and interacting. And we will do so while keeping the health, safety, and well-being of our entire campus as our top priority, and preparing to shift back to remote learning in the event that health precautions on campus or in our region require us to change course.

In response to changing COVID-19 health and safety conditions and guidance, classes will be held primarily online. Plans to bring students back to campus have been postponed. Read the latest campus messages from the President and SCU’s leadership team.


Teaching Effectiveness

Jesuit education has always adapted to changing world circumstances; next academic year will be no different. Our faculty will provide dynamic learning environments that will work best for the content they teach and for their students. 

Throughout this year, the Faculty Collaborative for Teaching Innovation has worked with our faculty to provide strategies for success in the blended learning environment, addressing what evidence-based practices for online teaching exist and how to implement these practices using SCU’s suite of technology tools. The immersive “Creating Optimal Online Learning” (COOL) program, delivered in collaboration with the Association of University and College Educators (ACUE), prepares faculty to implement evidence-based teaching practices shown to improve student achievement and close equity gaps. 

In addition, many units on campus are setting up alternative ways for SCU students to connect with one another and with faculty and staff over virtual or other social media. In the Jesuit tradition of humanistic education, students will pursue new forms of learning and engagement, deepen their connections with one another, and apply their knowledge and faith to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.

We have explored a number of strategies to provide in-person learning environments that are healthy, safe and optimal for learning. We are implementing enhanced safety measures in buildings and classrooms, including the appropriate flow of pedestrian traffic. We are considering best practices for social distancing in order to achieve the appropriate capacity and density level in each instructional space. Given the impact these factors will have on our classroom availability and capacity, we are also looking into expanding class times and identifying all potential instructional spaces on campus. 

Winter Undergraduate Calendar

The January 4 - March 19 dates for the Winter quarter 2020-21 undergraduate academic calendar are unchanged. All courses will begin January 4 in online modality. 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).

Graduate and Professional Schools 

Graduate programs will be largely online, and will operate on calendars specific to their needs. Students will be notified about the schedules and specifics directly by their schools and programs.