Dominican University - Moving Forward



The university has developed a plan to enable a delivery of our academic and academic support programs in all delivery systems during the Spring 2021 semester in a way that is both effective and safe for students, faculty, and staff. 

For the Spring 2021 semester, Dominican University courses will include a mixture of delivery approaches:

  • Face-to-Face courses, with required personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks, room for physical distancing, and the opportunity for all to disinfect their work areas;
  • Hybrid courses, through online class components and/or live-streaming classes from campus; 
  • Hyflex courses, where faculty may ask or require some students in a class to participate remotely via live-streaming, while other students attend in person; and
  • Some fully online courses. 

In sync with the University's mission, our educational programs and services will continue to “be both challenging and supportive, distinguished both by high standards and by attention to the needs and potential of the individual student.”

Our traditional undergraduate Spring 2021 semester will run as scheduled, from January 27 to May 14.  Other delivery systems will follow their own schedules. Faculty are prepared to pivot quickly to remote instruction should conditions warrant.

Review the Spring/Summer 2021 Academic Calendar

Classroom Safety

  • Faculty and staff must wear a face mask or covering that covers both the nose and mouth when in the classroom
  • Classrooms will be reconfigured or modified to accommodate revised room capacities and allow for physical distancing 
  • Maximum occupancy for classrooms will be posted and enforced
  • As per CDC guidance, windows and doors in classrooms and offices will be kept as open as possible throughout the semester to increase air flow.
  • Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be available inside or outside each classroom. 
  • Faculty will be instructed to use disinfecting wipes provided by the University to wipe down all electronics and teaching devices before each class session 
  • Students will be instructed to use disinfecting wipes provided by the University to wipe down desks and chairs before each class session. 
  • Limited sharing of objects (e.g. laptops, phones, handouts, writing utensils) 
  • No food or eating is permitted in the classroom 

Students who cannot wear a face mask or covering due to medical or disability-related reasons should contact the Office of Special Services ( for alternate class arrangements where possible.  

Students who choose not to wear a face mask or covering may participate in class remotely, but may not attend in person.  This is to protect their health and safety as well as the health and safety of their classmates, instructor, and the Dominican University community. Anyone attending class in person without a face mask or covering will be asked to put one on or leave. Students who refuse to wear face masks or coverings appropriately or adhere to other stated requirements may face disciplinary action.

Course Delivery

In addition to face-to face courses, there will be two options:  the hyflex and hybrid models.

In some cases, faculty may ask or require a set number of students to participate remotely via live-streaming.  This is the hyflex model.  In the hyflex model, students can either be rotated through onsite and live-streaming participation, or a set number of students may be chosen to take the course remotely due to health concerns, commuting distance, etc. All students will attend the class simultaneously either in the classroom or online.

Students wishing to take all of their courses online—either by enrolling only in online courses or by asking to be allowed to livestream all class sessions—must send an email request to Dean’ Please note that this may not be an option for students in the University's professional programs. When in-person attendance is a requirement for specific essential elements, requests for online or live-streaming to replace the in-person requirement will not be an option. Questions regarding such circumstances should be directed to the appropriate program coordinator or director.

Some faculty may prefer to split their course in two, bringing half their class in on Monday, for example, for a lecture and then bring the other half in on Wednesday for the same lecture.  Both groups would then do their second class session that week online.  This would be the hybrid model.

To accommodate live-streaming of classes, a “Zoom Cart” has been set up in every regular classroom and converted meeting room. This will include a computer with two screens: a large one to display the faces of students participating remotely and a smaller one for the computer itself. Faculty will be able to control a 360-degree camera with a remote control and use a SmartBoard for class notes.

Special approaches will be required for hands-on courses, such as science labs and skills courses: 

  • Smaller groups of students may be rotated through lab experiences, students may observe some labs posted online, or at home “kitchen” labs will be provided. 
  • Science programs will make use of virtual labs through for many of their courses.

Careful attendance will be taken for every class session and records maintained in case tracing becomes necessary.

The Rosary Computer Lab will be made available for students needing a space to participate in online courses or hybrid courses components.  

Fully Online Courses

A number of spring 2021 courses have been designated as being fully online, either with synchronous or asynchronous classes.  (See the course schedule on the portal for specific course information)  

Any waiver to this policy must be cleared by the both the student’s advisor and the Academic Dean, and in the case of international students, by the Vice President for Enrollment Management as well.

The University reserves the right to make any necessary changes in the delivery of its courses without prior notice based on prevalent circumstances and local, state and/or federal guidance.  This includes the right to transition classes to online or hybrid delivery.

Off-Campus Experiential Courses

All courses and course components for clinicals, field placements, student teaching, onsite internships, etc., will follow guidance from the CDC, federal and state Departments of Education, and directives from appropriate professional accrediting bodies. In some cases, students may be able to complete such requirements virtually or through approved alternative methods.

All students participating in such off-campus courses or course components must sign a special COVID-19 waiver acknowledging they understand and accept the potential risks associated with these experiences. Students wishing to defer such degree requirements should speak with the appropriate program coordinator or director about the possibility of being granted a deferral.  

Modifications to Class Schedules

Five minutes will be added between class sessions. This will allow students to leave classrooms in a staggered fashion, reducing congestion in doorways and halls. It also will allow faculty and students to wipe down desks and chairs they will use in their class.

Courses will meet using this schedule: 

8:15 am – 9:30 am

9:50 am – 11:05 am

11:25 am – 12:40 pm

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

2:35 pm – 3:50 pm

4:10 pm – 5:30 pm

5:45 pm – 8:25 pm

Some nursing courses will continue to start at 8:00 a.m.

Classroom Setup

Classroom occupancy limits across campus have been greatly reduced to promote physical distancing. For example, classrooms previously set up to accommodate 35 students have been modified for no more than 16 students per class. Occupancy limits in our science, computer and professional program labs have been reduced even further. Student work with partners or groups, except in cases when it is necessary for the instruction of core course material, should only occur virtually. 

Faculty Office Hours

To the degree possible, faculty will only be on campus for teaching. The required four office hours on campus for full-time faculty will be suspended for the Spring 2021 semester, although these office hours will still be held remotely. Students wishing to meet with a member of the faculty, staff or administration must make appointments ahead of time.

The Sullivan Library

Sullivan Library services will be offered primarily by request and at a distance.

  • Research Help: Librarians are available by appointment for Zoom or phone meetings. Help is also available by email and online 24/7 via chat.
  • Curbside pick-up service: Available by request for circulating books with a longer lending period of one semester and no renewals.
  • Course reserves: Textbooks and other course materials will be electronic when available. Students who are unable to come to campus due to health concerns may request scans in accordance with copyright restrictions. Print texts are accessible in-person with safety precautions.
  • Library building: Hours are modified, capacity is reduced, and access is limited to current students, faculty, staff, and administrators during the spring semester. Patrons will need to present their DC-1Card upon entry and wear a face mask/covering that covers both the nose and mouth at all times.

The Academic Success Center

In the spring, the Academic Success Center (ASC) will be open and staffed Monday through Friday and will primarily provide services remotely.

Tutoring will be provided remotely. Students should call the ASC (845-848-4056) or complete the Tutoring Request form on the portal to schedule a tutoring appointment.

Writing and math labs will be held remotely. Financial accounting and microeconomics labs will be offered on campus in classrooms and remotely. Labs will not be held in the ASC during the spring.

Course-related testing makeups and course-related testing with special accommodations, excluding reader and scribe services, will be conducted by course instructors with the option of Respondus Lockdown Browser or Respondus Lockdown Browser with Monitor through BlackBoard.  Testing services for students requiring readers and/or scribes will be provided by the Office of Special Services.

Students who wish to visit the ASC in person to meet with an ASC staff member or use ASC technology, must make an appointment.

Student capacity in the ASC will be capped at 8 (includes study hall students assigned to the ASC and those using ASC technology).

Physical distancing guidelines and university guidelines will be followed during in-person appointments.

  • A face mask/covering that covers both the nose and mouth must be worn
  • Hand sanitizer will be available
  • Students will be instructed to use disinfecting wipes provided by the University to wipe down desks, chairs, and computers before and after use
  • Furniture will be reconfigured and/or modified to accommodate revised room capacity and allow for physical distancing
  • Physical distancing signage will be posted and must be followed 
  • Limited sharing of objects (e.g. laptops, phones, handouts, writing utensils)
  • No food or eating is permitted

Records of in-person student usage of the ASC will be maintained in case tracing becomes necessary.