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                                                                                                            October 26 2020   

Dear Students:  

I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well as possible during this unusual fall term. I have been heartened by our community’s resilience and care for each other amid these challenging times. Although our teaching, learning and living remains to a great extent physically distanced, I am grateful for the opportunities for connecting virtually.  

On October 16, we sent our blueprint for the winter term 2021 with plans to expand a limited number of in-person undergraduate classes and limited-capacity on-campus housing for students, in accordance with California’s COVID-19 risk level tier assessment of Santa Clara County: Level orange/moderate -- allowing some indoor business operations to open with modifications. I write today with some important academic updates that will help you plan and prepare for your next academic term at SCU.

Class Planning and Registration

Winter quarter and spring semester 2021 class information and scheduling is now open in eCampus and CourseAvail, as of today, Monday, October 26. Students will see detailed class notes for all winter undergraduate classes that identify the modality of the class (eg: what percent is synchronous vs. asynchronous, class recordings for those not able to attend in real time, exam information, etc.) Please review these class notes to facilitate your class planning.  

Undergraduate enrollment deadlines are listed in the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Calendar. Winter quarter classes begin on Monday, January 4, and students will be able to attend any in-person class sessions starting January 19, after we have completed the on-campus housing testing and isolation regimen. Spring Break remains on the calendar but all travel outside of the county is discouraged (more information will be forthcoming). 

The deadline for adding classes is Friday, January 8. Registration will remain open through the end of the Drop period: Friday, January 29 (drop without a W) and Friday, February 19 (drop with a W). If you have specific questions regarding class availability/registration, please contact the relevant academic departments. If you are planning to overload, see the Unit Overload Policy below.  

For more information on class planning and registration, please visit the Office of the Registrar site or the Drahmann Undergraduate Advising Center.

Graduate Students: We recently provided a graduate student update announcing winter quarter and spring semester 2021 calendar and course modality decisions across all graduate schools and programs. Deans and program directors will continue to reach out to their graduate students with relevant information about their respective graduate school/program. 

Academic Policies

Academic policies are available in the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin and Graduate Bulletin specific to each graduate school/program. The standard grading policies and regulations will be in place for the 2020-21 academic year, including the standard Pass/No Pass policy and Unit Overload policies (revised on September 2, 2020). The deadline to change a class from letter grade to Pass/No Pass this winter is Friday, January 29, 2021. More details on these policies will be provided by the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Winter/Spring 2021 Study Abroad

SCU has suspended all Winter and Spring 2021 study abroad programs, 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 study abroad locations. 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.

We encourage students interested in a global experience at SCU to apply for a study abroad opportunity for the 2021-22 academic year, and to explore our new online global programs, including summer internships and the Global Engagement Fellowships.

 Research Resumption

The University has advanced to Stage 3 of the SCU COVID-19 Research Resumption Plan, our phased return plan for laboratory and studio art research activities. This will enable us to approximately double the amount of faculty and students that can be in an on-campus research environment over our former occupancy limits (Stage 2). In effect, this means that more graduate and undergraduate students will be allowed to access our research labs. The updated Research Resumption Plan and summary of changes is found on the Teaching and Learning section of the Prepared SCU site.

Academic Resources for Students

As a reminder, the following suite of academic support services remain available online to you; 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.

Please visit these websites and make appointments to meet with our staff if you have questions about or need support in any of the following areas.  

  • The University Library continues to provide reservable study space in the Learning Commons, pick-up and residential delivery services for library materials, and virtual reference and research support. Up-to-date information about all library services can be found on the Library & Learning Commons Services Update website.  
  • Benson Memorial Center is open to support limited grab and go dining services and provide space for students with unreliable internet access to study in a space that ensures social distancing. Additional high touch-deep cleaning services will continue.  
  • 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: Now is the time for undergraduates to start planning their winter term schedule by meeting with an academic advisor in the John B. Drahmann Academic Advising and Learning Resources Center. 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 now for the remainder 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 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. 

Student Engagement

In order to support the vibrant Bronco community during remote learning, the Division  of Student Life has collaborated extensively with departments across campus and student leaders to develop and provide students with a robust set of remote engagement opportunities. Visit the Get Connected hub for a comprehensive list of events, connection to student organizations, groups, wellness tips, and other resources. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to build community even while we must remain apart.  

The University will continue to provide timely updates about the phased return to campus and update you as public health conditions change. 

Wishing you continued success and wellness during the remaining weeks of the fall term,


Lisa A. Kloppenberg                                                                                                        Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs