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College of Liberal Arts

15 questions and answers specific to the students within the College of Liberal Arts for fall 2020.


Q: Which College of Liberal Arts majors and cohorts have been designated to be off-campus in the fall?

A: Sophomores in studies of war and peace, international studies and psychology; juniors in criminal justice. These determinations were made after careful consideration of which students can stay home and online with minimal disruption to their curricula — groups that don’t have labs and that don’t have an archival aspect.

Q: Will you continue to have off-campus experiential learning excursions like Boston Policy Week?

A: No, not this fall. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, fall 2020 will likely be different from past years. We’re not able to offer Boston Policy Week or other experiences like trips to courthouses or corrections facilities.

Q: How will class schedules be different?

A: To comply with the mandated physical distancing guidelines, in some classes we’re looking at bringing in half the students on Mondays, half the students on Wednesdays and having a fully online module on Fridays. As Provost Sandra Affenito has said, we’ll have a mixture of learning formats; how your class is delivered will depend on the class, the professor, a student’s year and which cohorts of students are studying online at home and which are on campus.

Q: Will our iPads be sufficient to accommodate online study? Or will we need to buy laptop computers, too, if we’re studying criminal justice, for example?

A: The iPad will be sufficient for freshmen studying criminal justice. For some upper-level criminal justice majors in the Research Methods class, learning the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences program will work much better on a laptop. As conceived, the iPad initiative was meant to be a robust in-class teaching tool and wasn't meant to replace the power and word processing and calculating capacity of a laptop. We’ve found many students are more comfortable doing prolonged writing and research on laptops.

Q: What restrictions, if any, will there be for students who must attend practicums and student teach?

A: We’re working with the Vermont Agency of Education to see what the structures will be and adapt.

Q: Will criminal justice students studying off-campus in the fall also be studying off-campus in the spring?

A: No. These students will have priority status to be invited to campus in the spring.

Q: What supports will there be for freshmen who struggle with online learning?

A: The Academic Achievement; Writing; and Counseling and Wellness centers will all be available both in person and online, as they’ve traditionally been for all students.

Q: Will undergraduate research continue?

A: Yes. We’ve had summer research fellows and we hope, as long as adjustments can be made for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and physical distancing, that undergraduate research will happen.

Q: What will happen with the Honors Program?

A: Dr. Michael Thunberg, the new Honors Program director, can best answer these questions. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q: Will foreign language courses be synchronous or asynchronous?

A: This is being worked on. Generally, beginning classes will be in person, if possible, and will include synchronous and asynchronous work. The Spanish program is large enough that there will be separate, all-synchronous online beginning Spanish sections for sophomores who won’t be on campus.

Q: I was planning to declare criminal justice as my major last spring, but didn’t do so before the campus shutdown. Will my major not being fully declared affect my status as a sophomore who won’t be on campus in the fall?

A: Undeclared student questions are being handled case by case, led by College of Science and Mathematics Dean Michael McGinnis and the Center for Student Success, (802) 485-2355.

Q: Will music and theatre students get to perform on campus?

A: Yes, with modifications. The Pegasus Players will follow the lead of many theatre companies and will perform virtually this fall. Theatre Program Director Jeffry Casey will be working with theatre tech students to offer them opportunities to stay active while observing all physical distancing requirements. Regimental Band is still being offered as a course. Col. Todd Edwards, the band’s director, is working to ensure any performances happen before Thanksgiving break. Also, other performance space courses, including bagpiping and drumming, will be in session.

Q: What accommodations are being made for majors with a mandatory study abroad component?

A: The Spanish program, which is the only foreign-language major requiring study abroad, has waived this requirement for seniors. There will be at least one additional elective course to make up the difference.

Q: What will happen with internships, especially in criminal justice?

A: We are exploring remote possibilities for criminal justice internships. What we can offer will hinge on our partner agencies and their guidance.

Q: If we don’t fall into any of the College of Liberal Arts cohorts designated to be off-campus in the fall, should we expect to return to campus in the fall?

A: Yes.

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