2020-21 Academic Year Information
June 11, 2020
With the closing of the academic year, we applaud you for the perseverance, flexibility, and patience you have shown over the past several months. We are extremely proud of our students and appreciate how the campus community has come together to make the best of this unprecedented time. While the upcoming 2020-21 academic year presents a unique set of challenges, we see an equally unique set of opportunities.
UCI is actively planning for all aspects of the undergraduate experience to help ensure the 2020-21 academic year is meaningful and engaging. We have developed these four Undergraduate Educational Principles that will guide the student experience:
- Public Health The health and safety of UCI students and employees is our top priority. Our campus policies will provide guidance for students, faculty, and staff to learn, teach, and work, depending on individual circumstances and comfort levels.
- Equity and Inclusion UCI is a public institution committed to the success of our students, including its large population of first-generation and under-represented students. All due care will be taken to support equity, diversity, and inclusion for every student from the beginning of their undergraduate career through graduation.
- Excellence in Undergraduate Education UCI is committed to delivering educational excellence and preparing our students to have the knowledge and skills required for a UCI degree.
- Privacy The educational experience must be safeguarded to protect the privacy and information security concerns of faculty, staff, and students.
We are committed to ensuring timely progress to degree for all students. All academic units are developing comprehensive plans that are flexible enough to handle the uncertainty associated with the pandemic and provide the courses students need, independent of the mode of delivery.
What fall quarter will look like
Almost all undergraduate courses will be delivered in a remote format in the fall quarter. A few exceptions are being evaluated, and consist of specialized upper-division labs, specific clinical and experiential courses, and some design courses in Engineering. Details on these exceptions will be shared as they are finalized.
What we expect for the rest of the 2020-21 academic year
As we look to winter and spring quarters, there is greater uncertainty, but our plan is to increasingly move to in-person instruction. To the degree that we are able to provide in-person instruction, remote options will be available for students that require them.
In order to provide students with the best learning experience possible, UCI is building on our expertise in delivering courses remotely and employing best practices from research on remote learning and teaching. As just one example, we are training over 200 graduate students in evidence-based remote teaching techniques and deploying them to support instructors in the design of their courses.
The fundamental nature of a pandemic will require flexibility and careful coordination, and we will provide additional information on an ongoing basis as decisions are made.
Student Life, Academic Support & Athletics
UCI will continue to provide a wide range of student life, academic support, intercollegiate athletics and campus spirit activities, as well as extracurricular programming in a variety of formats including remote engagement and/or in-person with proper physical distancing, pending public health guidance. In-person student life and academic support programs will have appropriate mitigation measures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Our student life activities and academic support programs are intended to enhance and balance your academic experience. Some examples of the resources available to you include interest-based resource centers, 600+ student organizations, various academic co-curricular programs, and fitness and recreational activities. Our location in Southern California provides us with great flexibility to leverage programming for these activities outdoors.
We are committed to providing as many students as possible with a meaningful on-campus residential experience. We will have space for students in single and double rooms. The rooms have been modified to accommodate current public health guidance including the addition of room dividers and increases to cleaning and sanitation schedules. To the extent possible, we are planning for in-person activities, programs, and events within our residential communities. The details are being finalized, and students will be receiving information about accommodations in Middle Earth, Mesa Court and Arroyo Vista from UCI Student Housing by June 19, 2020.
Should you have any questions related to covering the cost of housing, please reach out to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. In certain instances, there may be an adjustment to your financial aid award to address these changes.
Looking out for our community
One of the responsibilities of being a member of the Anteater community is to look out for the well-being of one another. A part of your commitment to UCI is to adhere to the Anteater Agreement. This agreement calls upon all Anteaters to follow a set of guidelines, developed in careful collaboration with the UCI College of Health Sciences, that includes:
- regular symptom checking for students and employees
- physical distancing, in part, guided by floor markers and signage
- using face coverings where physical distancing is not possible to minimize transmission
- frequent handwashing
- completion of an online safety training program prior to the start of the academic year
- understanding that directives from the university may change due to the fluid nature of the pandemic
Drawing on the expertise of our UCI College of Health Sciences programs, including Medicine and Public Health, we have outlined additional steps to minimize the impact of the coronavirus when students, faculty, and staff return to the campus. These include the following:
- testing of individuals who develop symptoms
- isolation plans for individuals who test positive
- contact tracing plan
For important updates on campus safety precautions and associated information from UCI, county, state, and federal public health officials, please visit UCI Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the CDC’s COVID-19 site.
We are committed to ensuring that you continue to have a meaningful Anteater experience and look forward to seeing you in the fall. We will share updated information and details as they become available. We encourage you to stay up-to-date on the latest information at students.uci.edu.
Willie L. Banks Jr., Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
University of California, Irvine
Vice Provost, Teaching & Learning
Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education