Fall 2020 Operations on New Jersey Campuses

  • Fall Semester will start early on August 17
  • First three weeks of instruction will be online
  • Face-to-face instruction to begin September 8
  • The semester will end on November 24

Fairleigh Dickinson University will welcome students back to campus for the fall semester beginning August 17, with the first three weeks of instruction online, face-to-face instruction resuming September 8, and the semester ending on November 24 announced University President Christopher Capuano, in an email to the University community.

“FDU is preparing carefully for the Fall 2020 semester. We are developing multiple plans that will enable us to open our campuses safely while operating consistently with public health and governmental guidelines. Several key task forces within the University have been formed to focus on different aspects of operating our campuses in the fall,” said Capuano. “Throughout our planning, we will continue to be guided by one overwhelming priority – the health and safety of our community members.” 

Schedule Changes for Fall 2020

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. We 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.

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

We 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. We will be updating our 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, we 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 our campuses.  

Enhanced Online Instruction

Our faculty did an outstanding job this past semester transitioning to online instruction. Moreover, most of our 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 our students.

Safety and Health

We will have protocols in place for testing, contact tracing, and isolation if necessary. Residence life and campus activities will be guided by public health requirements, such as physical distancing and reduced density if warranted. We will modify campus environments like dining halls as needed. While it is too early to know the particular details for many of these operations, we will update everyone as we learn more information and tailor our programs and environments to these requirements accordingly.

Stay up to date with the current announcements here.

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