We have asked hard questions. We have looked at information from different perspectives and questioned our assumptions. We have listened to your questions and to community health experts, leading us to refine our plans. And we are creating an academic program—described in this video by two faculty members—that will engage you in new ways while staying true to the relationships and community values at the heart of a Grinnell education. We are excited about the year ahead.
S/D/F Grading Option
Students may elect the S/D/F grading option until the last day to withdraw for the term. Please note: the emergency S/D/F policy exceptions enacted for the Spring 2020 semester have expired and the regular S/D/F policy is in place for the 2020-21 academic year.
Physical Education Courses
The Physical Education Department is planning to offer credit-bearing physical activities for students online and on campus.
In accordance with our goal of academic continuity, most of Grinnell’s fall course offerings have been retained. Requests for adjustments to major requirements will be addressed on an individual student basis.
Course schedules for Fall Term 1 and Fall Term 2 are available online: refer to the Live Schedule of Courses for course times and locations. The schedules include filters for search course locations (i.e., on-campus vs. online). Individual student class schedules (what students are registered for) will be released on Friday, July 31.
Academic Support Services
Academic support services will be available to all students, regardless of their residency status. For example, the Writing, Reading, and Speaking Center will operate entirely online, and we will continue to provide Peer Writing Mentors for individual classes.
We have gathered significant feedback from students and faculty on the spring semester and implemented changes based upon those experiences. We know that the coming year will bring new challenges, and so we will continue that evaluative process throughout the year.
In the spring, we had to pivot our courses rapidly from in-person to online. This happened in the middle of the semester, when much of the course design was already well underway. For the coming academic year, faculty already know which courses they will teach online, and are designing their courses with this in mind from the start. They are also taking workshops on best practices in online teaching, and learning relevant technologies that will enable them to lead dynamic, student-centered courses in this format. Our faculty and staff are continuously working to provide the best possible learning experience for our students, no matter where they find themselves in the coming year.
We are outfitting classrooms on campus with fixed and moveable cameras so that faculty will be able to record course content within the teaching spaces they know well. Every faculty member teaching an online course is receiving a college-issued microphone set to provide high-quality audio for live meetings and recorded videos. We are purchasing additional software and hardware to facilitate creative pedagogical approaches.
Student Support and Connections
Our highest priority for the year is to continue building connections with our students. We have reconfigured our course time slots to create multiple options for synchronous meetings across time zones. We will still have community events like convocation and performances, all online. Faculty will still hold office hours for each of their courses, and students will still have regular access to their advisers. Academic Advising and our Academic Resource Centers will remain open and will continue to support students with the same care and dedication, just virtually. We remain committed to pedagogical excellence and our individually-advised curriculum, and most of all, to you, our students.