Academic Modifications for Fall 2020

Lander’s administration, COVID-19 task force and campus leaders are working diligently on strategies that address multiple scenarios, all with the overarching goal to protect the safety of our campus community while providing the high-quality educational experiences for which Lander is known. Based upon current guidance from public health professionals and government officials, the following changes are being planned for the Fall 2020 semester:

  • Most classes will use a flexible, hybrid model that blends face-to-face instruction with synchronous video and online activities. 
  • Classes will be capped to allow for appropriate social distancing in classrooms, labs and facilities. Large classes will be moved to an online format, broken into multiple sections, or scheduled to allow for staggered attendance.
  • Lander has increased online offerings this year to promote safety. Historically, approximately 10% of our total course sections have been taught online; this fall, online sections will account for approximately 15% of all courses. Certain courses have been moved online to reduce congestion in hallways, to follow public health guidance, and to meet the needs of students and faculty with underlying health conditions. Online courses are a valuable component of every modern university and provide an excellent learning experience. Lander is prepared to provide students with high-quality, engaging content, regardless of how it is delivered.
  • All face-to-face courses will start the semester with contingency plans allowing for an immediate and smooth transition to online instruction, should circumstances require it.
  • Students and faculty with underlying health conditions or concerns may request online instruction options.
  • Office hours will be virtual, and most non-class meetings will take place virtually.
  • The University will provide quality, reusable masks for students, faculty and staff. Pursuant to South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster’s latest order, face coverings or masks are required to be worn inside all state government offices, buildings and facilities as a response to control the spread of COVID-19 in our state. As such, this order does apply to all buildings on the campus of Lander University.

    Effective immediately, all persons will now be required to wear a face covering or mask when inside any building on Lander’s campus.

  • Social distancing policies and guidelines will be in place across campus.
  • Cleaning supplies will be available in classrooms, labs and other academic settings. In addition to daily cleaning and sanitization of classrooms by our custodial staff, we are encouraging students and faculty to help in these efforts by cleaning work spaces (desks, chairs, tables, keyboards, etc.) before and after use.
  • Health safety education will be provided to students throughout the semester, and safety training will be required for faculty and staff.  

Additional information regarding housing, dining, recreation, athletics, student activities and more will be shared in the coming weeks. These plans are flexible and will continue to be adapted as the pandemic evolves. As we monitor developments around us, we will be prepared to move quickly to implement new public health guidance and recommendations.

 

Modification of Academic Calendar for Fall

Following consultation with the President’s Cabinet, academic leadership and the Faculty Senate chair, and with guidance from the University’s COVID-19 Task Force and public health experts, Lander is making the following modifications to its Fall 2020 academic calendar:

  • The last day of face-to-face instruction for the fall semester will be Wednesday, Nov. 25, prior to Thanksgiving Break (Nov. 26-27). The one remaining day of classes after the break (Monday, Nov. 30) will be moved to online instruction. 
  • Fall 2020 final exams (Dec. 1-7, 2020) will be moved to fully online.

Please Note: While fall instruction and exams will move online following Thanksgiving Break, the campus will remain open, and residence halls and student services, including dining and health, will remain available through the end of the semester. Information regarding any modifications needed for the Spring 2021 academic calendar will be announced as those decisions are made.

“The safety of our campus community remains the University’s highest priority. This schedule modification will help lessen any potential impacts or disruptions for our students, faculty and staff should there be a spike in coronavirus or seasonal flu cases at the end of the year,” said Scott Jones, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments on campus and regionally, and the University will be ready to respond should further changes to our academic calendar be needed.”

 

Student Life Event Plans for Fall 2020

The below document serves as guidance for all Student Life sponsored events and activities for the Fall 2020 semester. All guidance is suggested and if you or your department need to take additional steps, please do so. All guidelines are based on the latest updates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and our national and state government mandates.

>> Student Life and Engagement Safety Plan for Fall 2020

 

Commencement 2020

We are pleased to announce that the State of South Carolina has approved Lander University’s plans for in-person commencement exercises for its Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 graduating classes.

Lander postponed the Spring 2020 commencement ceremony, originally scheduled for May 13, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony for May 2020 graduates will now take place Saturday, December 12. The ceremony for Fall 2020 graduates will take place Tuesday, December 15, as originally scheduled. All events will be held in Horne Arena.

For more information, click here.

 

FALS Requirement Temporarily Suspended

Due to the ongoing developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, FALS requirements have been temporarily suspended. Students will not be required to earn additional FALS credits (beyond what they already have earned) if they are Fall 2020, Spring 2021 or August 2021 graduates. The FALS credit requirement is being waived for students graduating in Summer 2020. 

Students with questions regarding FALS credits and requirements can contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 864-388-8320 or academicaffairs@lander.edu.

 

Fall 2020 Face Covering Requirement and Recommendations

In accordance with the latest recommendations from the CDC and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Lander University is requiring the use of face coverings while in classrooms and certain campus locations for the Fall 2020 semester. Medical studies have shown that face coverings are highly effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19, and they are an important tool in our efforts to protect the health of students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus. 

At this time, face coverings will be required:

  • while in most classrooms and instructional spaces, unless the use of face coverings is not feasible for that instructional activity. 
  • while in the Bearcat Shop/Campus Bookstore, and at all campus dining locations (Dining Hall, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, POD/WhichWich), except while eating. This measure aligns with a similar requirement enacted by the City of Greenwood mandating face mask usage in retail and dining establishments.
  • while on the Bearcat Shuttle and/or Lander Line.
  • Accommodations will be made for those with conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering.

In addition to these requirements, face coverings are strongly recommended in all public settings on campus, particularly when social distancing cannot be maintained. Campus leadership and COVID-19 task force members will continue to evaluate the use of face coverings for other campus locations and activities, and additional requirements and recommendations may be made.

Face Mask Distribution:  To assist in this effort, Lander will be providing a packet of reusable/washable face masks for all students, faculty and staff. 

Face mask packets will be distributed to faculty and staff through their university division/department heads. Residential students will receive their packets at move-in, and non-residential/commuting students can pick up their face masks at the Bearcat Shop before attending their first on-campus class.

“We each must take responsibility to do all that we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our community, which includes social distancing, frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, and staying home when we are sick,” said Lander President Richard Cosentino. “The cooperative efforts of our students, faculty and staff to follow these simple steps will ensure that the University can safely open – and remain open – this fall.”

 

Requesting Academic and/or Housing Accommodations Due to COVID-19

While we expect most Fall 2020 instruction to be face-to-face, the University will be implementing additional online course options, streaming technology and other innovative digital tools to accommodate students who cannot return to campus this fall.

Regardless of your choice of instruction – in-person, hybrid or online – Lander has created a robust educational experience for you. As you plan for fall, please keep in mind:

  • Schedule adjustments will continue throughout the Summer 2020. Students who wish to revise their schedules should contact their academic advisors as soon as possible.
  • Flexible learning options will be offered for students who have various levels of comfort or needs. In addition to fully online courses, Lander has the ability to complement in-person instruction with livestreamed classes, virtual meetings, and collaborative online spaces.
  • All students – even those in face-to-face classes – should expect widespread use of instructional technology in their classes, and elements of distance learning will be necessary in almost every class.
  • Housing and Residence Life is offering various housing options to meet the first-year requirement for on-campus living, as well as housing for upperclassmen. Students who wish to discuss housing options should contact Housing and Residence Life.

Students wishing to receive academic or housing accommodations (or temporary accommodations related to COVID-19) should contact Samelia Abney, Director of Disability Services, at sabney@lander.edu by July 24 to explore available options. These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. (Please note: No action is required for students planning to be on campus when classes start in the fall.

 

New Wellness Center Protocols

Due to COVID-19, the Wellness Center has established new protocols for accessing our services.  Please see below for instructions on how to contact the appropriate staff member to meet your needs.

Health Services 
Health Services will be offering walk-in hours.

  • Tuesdays from 9am-11:30am and 1pm to 4pm 
  • Wednesday 9am-11:30am and 1pm to 4pm
  • Thursdays 9:30am-11:30am and 1pm to 4pm

All other times by appointment.

  • For SAME DAY appointments, call 864-388-8885.
  • To self-schedule for in-person appointments for tomorrow, or later in the week, please use the following links for Well Visits  (for example, questions for the nurse, chronic health conditions, sexual health, or contraceptive planning) or Sick Visits (for example, cough, sore throat, fever, nausea & vomiting).  A nurse will contact you on the day prior to your scheduled appointment to confirm your appointment. 
  • To schedule a virtual visit using MS teams please use this link.  Instructions on how to download and access MS teams will be sent to your e-mail after the appointment is scheduled. 

When you arrive to the Wellness Center for your scheduled Health Services appointment, please check in using the Ring® doorbell mounted to the left of the door and wait under the tent outside.  A nurse will come outside to perform a brief screening for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure prior to escorting you into the office. 

Disability Services 
Our staff is available remotely via Microsoft Teams.  We are  here to answer all of your questions and assist you with establishing a case, discussing disability documentation, and exploring academic, housing, and dietary accommodations.  You can schedule an appointment to meet the Director, Samelia “Sam” Abney using this link:  Samelia “Sam” Abney.  You may also contact us via email at sabney@lander.edu.  

Counseling Services
All Counseling Services will be conducted online this semester through Microsoft Teams or different arrangements can be made to meet students’ specific needs.  Counselors will be on campus throughout the semester, but face-to-face services will be reserved for emergencies only.  To schedule an appointment, please call the Wellness Center at 388-8885 or email one of our staff directly:  bbooraem@lander.edujbrewer@lander.edueglenn@lander.edummilligan@lander.edu.   For emergencies or after hours counseling needs, please contact 864-388-8222 to reach the counselor on call. 

You may call us at the Wellness Center at (864) 388-8885 with any questions. 

 

Bearcat Bucks

Do you have Bearcat Bucks left over from the spring semester? We have great news!

Lander University has partnered with Aramark, the university’s dining services provider, to allow returning students to roll their unused Spring 2020 Declining Balance dollars (Bearcat Bucks) into the upcoming fall semester!

Spring 2020 Bearcat Bucks will be valid until September 30, 2020, and can be used at all campus dining locations. That means you’ll have extra bucks to spend at Lander’s Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, Which Wich, POD and Dining Hall when you return to campus this fall!

Need to check your Bearcat Bucks balance? Just visit any campus dining location upon your return to Lander this fall for an up-to-date account balance. If you need to confirm your Bearcat Bucks balance over the summer, or if you have any questions about Declining Balance dollars, please contact Jordan Hudgens, Lander Dining administrative assistant, at 864-388-8416 or Hudgens-jordan@aramark.com  (please have your L# available).

 

Student Crisis Fund Information

In an effort to provide much-needed assistance for Lander University students facing immediate financial hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lander Foundation has launched a Student Crisis Fund.

Our goal is to provide students with needed emergency assistance that can help them remain in school during this challenging time and continue to make progress toward their Lander degree. Please note, this funding is not intended to be used as a consistent supplement, nor replace or supplement existing financial aid or other educational funding sources. Requests must be urgent in nature, and students may apply for funds when they have exhausted all other resources. This funding does not have to be repaid. The COVID-19 Student Crisis Fund is sustained by the continual contributions of generous alumni, parents, faculty, students, staff and friends of the University.

If you are in need of such assistance, we encourage you to apply. You can find more information about the fund, the types of expenses covered, eligibility requirements, and the application form by clicking here.   

If you have any questions about this fund or the application form, please contact Kim Shannon, kshannon@lander.edu.

 

Student Employment -  Interest Form

The Office of Career Services and Student Employment has developed an employment intake form for students who would be interested in working remotely at this time for the university. Please note that employment with Lander University is not guaranteed, however; the University is working diligently to identify students who are in significant financial need to connect them with possible remote project/work-from-home based opportunities for various campus offices and departments.

You can find the link for the Student Worker Interest Intake Form by clicking here. If you have any questions about this form, please contact Amanda Morgan, asmorgan@lander.edu, or Courtney Carpenter, ccarpenter@lander.edu.

 

Writing Center E Tutoring

The Writing Center is offering convenient E-Tutoring for students.

What is E Tutoring? Through our appointment software, we have an option for distance tutoring. This means you can email a tutor your essay draft through your appointment time, and quickly receive feedback from them.

How to use E Tutoring: You can use Lander.MyWConline.com to log in and create an appointment. You need to attach the essay draft (and preferably the assignment sheet and rubric) to the appointment. Once you create the appointment and attach the essay, a tutor will read it and return feedback in an hour. To get the best feedback, be sure to upload a full draft and any other information. 

Questions? We look forward to helping you! You can learn more about our E Tutoring services here, or if you have any questions, email Brittany Cuenin, Writing Center Director, at bcuenin@lander.edu, or Courtney Myers at cmyers@lander.edu.

 

 

Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center is happy to inform you that we have online tutoring available. You will need to schedule an appointment at www.lander.mywconline.com. Same-day appointments are not available; students must sign up at least 24 hours before their desired appointment time. 

To access your online appointment, you will log into WC Online and open your scheduled appointment time and then click on “Start or Join Online Consultation”. Students having trouble logging into WC Online should email Anissa Lawrence at alawrence@lander.edu. We recommend that you log into the system a few minutes before the start time and be prepared. Have your notes and textbooks available. Please be advised that our tutors will not have a copy of the textbook during the tutoring session. You may enter your online tutoring appointment from a laptop, computer, or mobile device. If your device does not have video capability, WC online has a whiteboard as well as live chat. 

Remember to remain in communication with your professors as they will be able to offer you guidance as we transition from traditional to online learning.