FLORHAM PARK — Fairleigh Dickinson University is planning to start its fall semester Monday, August 17, a week earlier than planned, and end it Tuesday, November 24, before the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no October break.
Schedule Changes for Fall 2020
At both New Jersey campuses, the Fall 2020 semester will start on Monday, August 17, a week earlier than originally planned, and end on Tuesday, November 24, before the Thanksgiving holiday. They will eliminate the October break and one of the two reading days to condense the semester into this new schedule. This will help community members avoid the need to travel back and forth for breaks and will reduce the time that community members need to be on campus during the colder months that may bring a potential risk of resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
The first three weeks of the semester will be taught online, with face-to-face instruction beginning no earlier than September 8, the day after Labor Day. This gradual and blended approach of returning to face-to-face instruction and incorporating online instruction can be easily modified should situations arise for an extended period of remote learning at any point.
Moreover, in finishing the fall semester by Thanksgiving, our new academic calendar also enables us to offer a more robust set of online winter courses during December and January that will benefit students and help them complete their degree requirements sooner, as well as participate in longer and more meaningful internship experiences if so desired.
Returning to Campus
They are hopeful that students who intend to live on campus will be allowed to start returning to campus beginning August 17 if they wish, but only if permitted by local, state, and federal guidelines at that time. They will be updating the plans as these guidelines are issued. Nevertheless, regardless of when students are able to be on campus again, campus operations will be aligned with recommendations provided by public health and governmental authorities. And, they certainly expect that there will need to be adjustments to certain aspects of campus life, as well as protocols and routines established to help ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of our entire University community. A second task force is working on developing such protocols and routines, which will be critical to the operation of the campuses.
Enhanced Online Instruction
The faculty did an outstanding job this past semester transitioning to online instruction. Moreover, most of the full-time faculty will spend significant time this summer preparing courses with online dimensions for the fall, with the goal of making the virtual learning experience even better for the students.