The last week has given us a clearer picture of how long we’ll be responding to COVID-19, and it appears that the effects of the pandemic will likely last into summer. Of course, this is disappointing news, but as President Sullivan said in her recent message about commencement, your health and safety are our top concerns.

Therefore, we have decided to offer all traditional summer courses in an online environment. This includes all courses that occur on campus. Making this decision now will allow us some time to plan and to ensure that summer courses represent the best in online teaching and learning. We are fortunate at St. Thomas to have talented faculty and excellent support through STELAR (St. Thomas E-Learning and Research), and we are confident we can offer enriching summer courses with a high level of engagement among faculty and students.

If you are already registered for summer, those classes will continue to meet at the times previously scheduled. For summer, all instruction will return to traditional grading.

I know this announcement will raise lots of questions for many of you about things like summer research, internships, and community-based learning. In consultation with the Minnesota Department of Health, we are working on approaches to these experiences and will keep you informed as decisions are made. The viability of courses that depend on outside placements will depend on the policies and practices of the placement organizations.

Take good care of yourselves. We may not see each other on campus soon, but you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

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