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A group of students in an outdoor class.

ACADEMICS

Course formats

We have placed on-campus courses into three categories:

  • Fully In-Person
  • Hybrid — in-person + virtual (50% or fewer students present at once)
  • Virtual

The majority of all courses will be delivered fully in-person.

Information about the format and location of classes is being updated regularly in Colleague. Students may view that information on their Colleague dashboard; email academicaffairs@northcentral.edu if information for a specific course is needed but not yet listed.

Our commitment to classroom safety has also entailed preparing a few non-traditional spaces for classroom instruction, including the Lindquist Sanctuary and Anderson Chapel.

It remains our goal to maximize the number of fully in-person courses while providing a safe learning and teaching environment.

Please note that all decisions on course modality and location are subject to change.

Courses in our fully online programs will continue without modifications.

Classroom technology

All North Central instructional environments will be equipped with technology that can livestream and record class sessions.

All students will receive training on our Learning Management System. Fully in-person classes will have all assignment submissions, handouts, and the final exam in our Learning Management System.

All courses will have virtual components and are being created to function seamlessly in the event a student or faculty may need to be quarantined or isolated and/or there is a need to move to a fully virtual format.

Classrooms will be equipped with new “Swivl”  + iPad technology:

  • Each learning space will be equipped with a Swivl + iPad for Zoom.
  • The Swivl device is a special base for a tablet that allows instructors to use Zoom to extend the learning experience beyond the traditional classroom.
  • The Swivl uses a tracking system that allows it to stay focused on the instructor as they move throughout the classroom. It includes a microphone for the instructor and additional microphones that allow for a better audio experience in a classroom/hybrid setting.

Classroom safety

We are committed to providing our students and faculty with a safe classroom environment. We are engaged in ongoing planning to this end and we will continue to adapt as conditions change, paying close attention to governmental guidelines and mandates.

The following are steps we are currently taking to provide a safe classroom environment:

  • Face Coverings: Students are required to wear face coverings at all times, with exceptions to include medical reasons and unique pedagogical considerations (e.g. ASL interpreting, music, student presentations, etc.).
  • While teaching, instructors must do one of the following: wear a face covering, wear a face shield, or remain behind a Plexiglass barrier (where provided). These guidelines follow the requirements and guidance provided by Governor Walz’s executive order and the Minnesota Department of Health.
  • Class capacities are limited to 50% to maximize social distancing.
  • Instructors will assign seats the first week of classes to assist with tracing and potentially minimize quarantine impacts should a student become ill.
  • Classroom users will have access to cleaning supplies to clean their areas.
  • Class dismissals will take place on a staggered basis to reduce the number of students in hallways during class transition times.

Readiness to switch to virtual learning

All of the models being utilized are adaptable to a rapid transition to a virtual learning environment if the university deems it necessary in response to changing public health conditions and/or governmental directives. NCU faculty and the instructional design team have worked diligently to enable NCU to continue to provide quality academic instruction in a fluid way throughout the inherent uncertainties that are inevitable due to ongoing adjustments related to COVID-19.