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A masked student works from her laptop in the Lavin-Bernick Center

With plexiglass barriers, de-densified classrooms, staggered schedules and courses taught simultaneously online and in person, Tulane is implementing public health measures and employing the latest technology to promote the safety of our academic community and to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19. Coursework at Tulane is innovative, collaborative and transformative. We are committed to retaining these qualities, while requiring students to mask, socially distance and encouraging good hand hygiene practices upon entering and leaving classrooms.

This summer, all classrooms underwent cleaning and disinfection by professional contract cleaners. Campus Services, in consultation with an external certified industrial hygienist, epidemiologists and Tulane’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety, has developed detailed protocols for continued cleaning and disinfection in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidance. Sanitizing wipes will be provided so faculty and students can wipe down workspaces and utilize hand sanitizer prior to the start of each class. We have scheduled all courses in classrooms that allow for required social distancing and rented 13 large temporary classrooms and other structures to make this possible.

Read below to learn what more we are doing to promote the safety of Tulane’s learning experience.

Academic Calendar

Fall 2020 Class Dates: Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020 – Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020

Be COVID Safe

Final Exams: Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 – Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020

There will be no Fall Break this semester. The semester will end just prior to Thanksgiving (graduate and professional schools may vary). Final exams will be online the week after Thanksgiving. This accelerated fall semester is intended to reduce travel in order to promote the health and safety of the community. The School of Medicine will maintain a separate academic calendar.

Schedule changes required within the semester:

  • Add one Saturday, Sept. 12, as a mandatory class day to make up for one needed Thursday meeting pattern
  • Add two contingency weekends to make up for any possible closings due to weather events

For both the educational and social benefit of our students, we strongly encourage that all students arrive on campus at the scheduled time for their cohort. However, students for whom the arrival date poses challenges can contact Dean of Students Erica Woodley to discuss possible options.

Coursework
Innovation in the Classroom

Our faculty are designing their classes this fall to create the most meaningful educational experiences both inside and outside the classroom. New technology has been installed in our classrooms and faculty have engaged in classes themselves this summer through CELT, learning new methods of instruction and course design that will result in new, exciting teaching and learning.

Technology-Enhanced Classes

To support social distancing requirements, and to increase flexibility in the event we need to transition classes online, most in-person courses will be tech-enhanced – with both in-person and online components included. Technology enhancement gives our classes more flexibility this fall and allows us to practice social distancing in the classroom and also allows students to engage with their classes online if they need to, in case of illness or self-isolation. Most students will have significant in-person classroom time, discussions with fellow students and instructors, and other in-person learning in their classes.

Rotating Classes

To provide more space in classrooms, some classes may have rotating in-person attendance. For example, half of a class may meet on a Tuesday (while half attends online) and then reverse the attendance on Thursday. Faculty will adapt their classes as appropriate for their disciplines.

Exclusively Online Classes

Many new fully online classes have been added, but even with these additional online courses, 75-80% of all classes offered for Fall 2020 will have a significant on-ground, in-person component. Most students will have substantial in-person classroom time, discussions with fellow students and instructors, and other in-person learning in their tech-enhanced classes.

View Schedule of Classes

Remote Learning Request for All Students

If you would like to request to participate in the fall of 2020 remotely, please fill out this form. Not all classes will be offered online, but we will work with you to make decisions that are most appropriate for you and your individual situation. If you are enrolled in a program that is normally delivered online, you do not need to complete this form.

Pass Times

We are making small reductions in class lengths and extending pass times (the time between classes) to facilitate physical distancing practices on campus. Please examine your schedule, since class times will be slightly adjusted to allow for this accommodation during the last week of July.

Classrooms
Social Distancing & Barriers

Masked student using laptop

Each classroom on campus has been inspected to identify the maximum capacity allowed while maintaining social distancing requirements. To provide extra protection, plexiglass dividers have been added in many classroom and public spaces. In addition, large public spaces – such as auditoriums – are being repurposed as classroom space and 13 temporary structures are being added throughout campus to provide more space for classrooms.

Students and faculty are required to wear masks in all classroom buildings.

Classroom Technology

Classroom technology solutions have been added to all large spaces and medium/large general pool classrooms, to include three levels of classroom technology:

  • Classroom in a box – This is a basic solution for smaller and non-traditional classroom spaces that allows for the broadcast of course content via Zoom. It is a semi-portable, stand-alone system with minimal room integration that includes a computer with touchscreen, a professor-facing camera, a projector, student and faculty microphones, a document camera (to emulate the whiteboard) and local public address speakers.
     
  • Technology-Enhanced Teaching Room – This is a standard solution for our midsized classrooms that already had up-to-date room systems. These rooms include all of the above as well as student microphones integrated into the ceiling and a rear-mounted display to show video feeds from remote students.
     
  • Remote Lecture Capture and Collaboration Room – This is a premium solution for the largest and most heavily utilized rooms. These rooms include all of the above as well as a Yuja lecture-capture appliance and an alternate student-facing camera.
     
  • Student workers will assist faculty with classroom management, including Zoom, and with developing online course materials.
Virtual Computer Labs

Physical computer labs that are not essential will be closed for the fall. To enable physical distancing and reduce risk of exposure, labs will be virtual. The AppsAnywhere tool will be used to virtualize software as needed for student-owned computers. This tool allows almost any computer to run resource-heavy applications, as all of the processing occurs in Tulane’s data center.

The Provost must approve any plan to keep a computer lab open, and any such request must be accompanied by both a justification based on the needs of the academic program and a plan to maintain a very high level of social distancing, hygiene and public safety.

Classroom Cleaning

This summer, all campuses underwent cleaning and disinfection by contract cleaners in accordance with established protocols. Custodians will continue to clean classrooms, public spaces, offices and workspaces based on the established protocols. Sanitizing wipes will be provided so faculty and students can wipe down workspaces and utilize hand sanitizer prior to the start of each class. All stated university health strategies should be followed in the classroom. Hand sanitizer can be found in all buildings near entrances and main lobby areas.

Libraries

Be COVID Safe

The Tulane Libraries (Howard-Tilton Memorial, Matas Library, Special Collections, and The Latin American Library) are dedicated to ensuring library resources and services remain available to fulfill the needs for teaching, learning, and research.

All of our locations will be open for fall 2020. The details are on our homepage at library.tulane.edu.

Graduate and Professional Students

For specific information on classroom and on-ground instruction for graduate schools, please connect with your individual school department head or advisor, or access individual school information in the School Information section below. Additional information such as remote learning requests and deadline extensions can be found here.

For information on graduate financial assistance, unemployment insurance, stipends and student emergency aid, please connect with your individual school department head or advisor. Graduates should also connect with the Graduate and Professional Student Association which can provide further assistance.

International graduate and professional students should connect with the Office of International Students and Scholars, the designated office on campus that provides immigration advising and support services to Tulane's international community.

Research & Lab Safety

Laboratories and research-based spaces are unique to their associated purpose, project, number of participants and location. We will be providing, and continually updating, university guidelines for research practices. However, specific decisions on how laboratory-based research returns to full operation should be overseen by the appropriate dean, on a case-by-case basis, considering work practices, including social distancing, face coverings or respirator use and laboratory disinfection methods.

Travel

Tulane-related non-essential travel is currently prohibited. Requests for exceptions can be submitted to the Chief Operating Officer or the Provost. This policy will be continually reviewed and revised as appropriate.