“Fall 2020 Calendar & Curriculum Changes” letter to Beloit students

Dear Students,

These are unprecedented times. COVID-19 has changed how we engage with each other, with our families, and with local, national, and global communities. Amidst what is a chaotic time, Beloit College continues to support your academic and personal well-being.

During the extended mid-semester break, faculty reconfigured their classes and librarians made additional library materials and research sessions available remotely. LEADS and Health and Wellness devised and incorporated online tutoring and individual counseling to support you, whether you are on campus or off. Student life entered the virtual world to offer a full range of events, activities, and programs to help keep you safe, healthy and connected. It has not been easy, but we know you have faced it head-on. We will continue to face the current challenges, together.

The speed with which COVID-19 continues to alter life across the globe demands that the College look ahead now and plan for the fall semester. Our focus must be on creating flexibility so that we can preserve the on-campus, in-person experience that we all value so much at Beloit College.

With that as our primary motivator, this is our plan for the fall 2020 semester:

  1. The fall 2020 semester will be divided into two modules, and each of our courses will be delivered as full-unit courses in one of these modules. Instead of a typical course load of four simultaneous courses over fifteen weeks, you will take two courses prior to fall break and two courses after fall break.

  2. A new module calendar will show which courses will be available in each of the two modules. Faculty leadership has developed a schedule that will allow you to progress towards your academic goals as effectively as you would have in a traditional semester system.

  3. These courses will be taught according to a new calendar that will be completed in time to proceed with advising (13-20 April) and registration (21-24 April) for the fall. The fall semester will begin on Tuesday, September 8th and conclude on Friday, December 18th, with a break during the week of October 26th.

We understand that switching to learning at a distance and now an additional change of moving to modules may feel unsettling. That is one of the reasons we want to act now and take a proactive approach to your Beloit education. We believe that the flexibility of the modular approach allows you to plan now for your fall semester with an expectation of less disruption to your educational experience whether it is happening on-campus or off-campus. At this point, we have not made any decisions about extending modules into the spring semester.

Our ongoing concern for your health, well-being, and education are central to everything we are doing. No matter how our world is impacted by this virus, we stand by our commitment to you to deliver excellent learning opportunities, student life, support, advising, and a community of belonging whether you are on or off-campus.

We will continue to communicate with you often during these unpredictable times and encourage you to reach out to us at any time with your questions and concerns. Send an email to covid-19@beloit.edu and you will get a response within 24 hours. As we said earlier in this message, we are, and always will be, committed to you and your education. We miss you. Be safe!

Scott Bierman

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