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Fall 2020 Campus Reopening

Fairfield’s fall 2020 semester has resumed full campus operations, including course instruction, co-curricular activities, on-campus housing, dining, and a wide array of student services.

The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community is our priority as we continue operations during the Covid-19 pandemic. To ensure that our Stags remain safe and healthy throughout the fall semester, Fairfield developed and enacted a six-layered, integrated approach that exceeds state requirements, all to protect our campus community. From comprehensive testing of all students, faculty, and staff prior to arrival on campus, to daily health monitoring and twice weekly sample testing, Fairfield’s Six Layers of Protection has provided a well-rounded framework for our community to continue to thrive. The plan also includes expert contact tracing and isolation of positive cases, and required face coverings and social distancing, ensuring best practices in keeping our campus safe. For further information, please refer to our Reopening Guide (PDF).

The Fall 2020 semester will proceed as follows:

  • Phased move-in began Monday, August 24, with classes beginning Tuesday, September 1 and concluding Monday, December 21.
  • To maximize the time and opportunity for engaged learning in the classroom, Fairfield did not have a fall semester break over Columbus Day weekend.
  • After Thanksgiving, students have been given the option to finish the fall semester either on-campus or from home. This schedule allows for the utmost flexibility.

For those students and families interested in planning a campus visit, Fairfield is offering both in-person and virtual visit options.

Fall 2020 Return to Campus Plan

Recommended State Reopening Plan - Phase 3

University Communications

One Fairfield – A Social Pledge

Student Social Pledge

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Student Social Pledge

Student with Fairfield Stag mask

We can stop the spread of Covid-19 by following key public health directives and using common sense. As part of the Fairfield community, students can keep themselves and others safe if we:

  • Show care, kindness, sensitivity, and respect for others
  • Follow policies and guidelines
  • Limit our social interactions
  • Always wear a face covering
  • Maintain social distancing by staying at least 6 feet from other people
  • Avoid gathering in groups
  • Avoid physical contact
  • Wash hands and cover coughs/ sneezes
  • Stay away from others if we are sick

A Message from President Mark R. Nemec

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A Message from President Mark R. Nemec

Daily Health Monitoring

The State of Connecticut is requiring daily Covid-19 health monitoring and symptom reporting to be completed prior to entering their communal place of work or study. In keeping with this mandate, Fairfield University is rolling out a daily health monitoring questionnaire through the LiveSafe campus safety smartphone application.

Available through the Apple App Store and the Google Play store, this convenient mobile app will allow for the daily health monitoring questionnaire to be filled out quickly and easily prior to your day on campus. All students, faculty, and staff of Fairfield University are strongly encouraged to download the LiveSafe app to submit this required daily health monitoring questionnaire before arriving to campus. Any approved visitors of Fairfield can also download the app, or they will be required to submit a survey prior to entry.

Download the LiveSafe App

Download LiveSafe to fill out your daily Covid-19 health monitoring questionnaire — available now on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Frequently Asked Questions

Spring 2020

Due to the national and international health concerns in relation to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Fairfield University amended its instructional and support modalities to: (1) ensure continuity of services to our students; (2) provide additional resources to support student academic, life, and wellbeing; and (3) support the efforts of our faculty and staff – all while following the health and safety directives of national, state, and local authorities.

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the University migrated to remote instruction for 1,535 courses through the remainder of the spring semester. Fairfield University used its pre-existing infrastructure, and professional expertise and knowledge in online education, to transition courses to remote learning. Our approach to remote learning ensured academic instruction continued immediately following spring recess according to the academic calendar. All students were given the opportunity to earn their credits for the semester and stay on-track towards degree completion and their graduation date.

As an example of the University’s unique academic opportunities through remote instruction, the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies transitioned its clinical opportunities to a virtual experience. These remote clinical resources included the following: streamed simulations from the lab, connected students with standardized patients, implemented virtual unfolding patient case studies, and utilized additional technology to simulate direct patient care experiences. These streaming simulations ensured clinical hours could be maintained throughout the semester.

Furthermore, Fairfield has maintained a continuity of academic engagement with its current and incoming students through a variety of media. Our academic support services engaged with students through virtual sessions with areas such as the writing center, math center, peer tutoring, career development, and other support services like technology, research, and the library. Advising and registration for fall 2020 continued online and on-schedule as it has in the past.

For examples of specific academic programming outside the virtual classroom, see the “Innovative Research Symposium” and “Fairfield Startup Showcase” below.

Fairfield is committed to excellence in education at all times, whether it be face-to-face, online, or transitioning to remote learning as circumstances may require. This dedication remains steadfast as we continue to evolve our educational modality in response to the current landscape.

The University’s first summer session will be delivered through online learning. Fairfield will continue to evaluate this modality for the second session throughout the summer as the situation warrants.

Counseling & Psychological Services has provided individual and group telehealth through a HIPAA-compliant platform, in addition to a combination of remote programming and outreach consisting of: 1) evidence-based, 2) psychoeducational, and 3) therapeutic/holistic approaches to address adjusting to remote classes, anxiety, depression, family issues, and grief.

Our Division of Student Life continued to offer students a wide range of activities to support student formation in mind, body, and spirit as communicated via a bi-weekly e-Newsletter called #SEPARATEDTOGETHER.

The Department of Recreation has offered remote Yoga, Zumba, and strength programming. The Office of Student Engagement connects with students through social programs such as trivia nights and virtual BINGO.

On April 17, 2020 the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs hosted their annual Celebration of Excellence. This event highlighted the achievements of our students on the margins (First Generation, Students of Color, LGBT, etc). In partnership with the Egan School of Nursing and the Office of Alumni Relations, we honored three graduating nursing seniors for their leadership on campus and beyond.

The Student Support and Relief Fund (a pre-existing fund established to provide financial assistance to students experiencing unexpected financial hardship) has been applied to help undergraduate and graduate students in need during Covid-19. Examples of student requests include, but are not limited to, cost-of-living expenses (food, utility bills, rental assistance, transportation), accidents, illness, medical treatment or medication, loss of essential personal items due to extenuating circumstances, and expenses due to the death of a family member or other family-related emergency.

The Orientation and on-boarding of the new class, Class of 2024, is now officially virtual. The Office of Student Engagements has coordinated three bounded orientation sessions for late June 2020 which consist of academic life, student life, and small group engagement sessions. Families will also have access to a series of pre-recorded sessions prior to these bounded-experiences and the option to attend several other sessions throughout the summer: honors college, living-learning communities, tips for a smooth and healthy transition, unity in welcome, varsity student-athlete breakfast, and more. The Class of 2024 will also be placed into orientation groups of 20 to 25 students facilitated by a New Student Leader. These groups will meet three to four times during the summer with outreach to students for one on-one-connections.

Additional student services that have moved to an online format include New Student Leader Orientation & Training; Leadership Development Opportunities; regular follow-up communication with graduate and international students regarding changes to campus operations, services, travel disclaimers, etc. as a result of Covid-19; and ongoing communication and the provision of critical information, event announcements, and engagement opportunities with students through social media.

Fairfield University's career centers have continued to offer students career counseling via e-mail, phone, and Zoom meetings. Guidance is offered with resumes, cover letters, assessments, interviewing skills, LinkedIn, and responding to any questions students may have. This includes simply calming nerves and listening to concerns. Quick Questions/Walk-In Hours have also been offered online.

An e-Newsletter has been, and will continue to be, sent to all students weekly encouraging students to contact their school's career counselors and how they can be reached: CAS: cascareers@fairfield.edu; Fairfield Dolan: dolancareer@fairfield.edu; SOE, ESON, and HS: careers@fairfield.edu. Directions on how to access Stags4Hire, search for jobs and internships, and tips on how to improve visibility with employers is also included.

Instagram has continued to be used as a vehicle for messaging tips, job opportunities, and general well wishes to keep students engaged.

Companies continue to request access to Stags4Hire so they can post jobs and internships. The numbers are not as robust as they had been in early March, however, they do continue to come in.

Recently added is Fairfield’s Micro-Internships offered through Dewey-Parker. Micro-Internships are paid opportunities that typically range from five to 40 hours of work, and can be completed remotely. Micro-Internships provide a chance for students to demonstrate their skills, explore career paths, and develop professional networks.

Job and internship resources promoted to students include:

  • Don't Make These 5 Resume Mistakes, Tips for Virtual Interviews
  • Vault can be used to seek jobs, internships, and career preparation tips
  • LinkedIn is a great resource to connect with alumni and other contacts to learn more about industries and careers
  • LinkedIn Learning is available through my.fairfield.edu. The site contains brief, instructive videos about everything from improving Excel skills to drafting a cover letter to preparing for an interview
  • LiquidCompass for Nursing, CNA, PCA, and other health care positions across the country
  • What Can I do with this Major?

Senior Launch continued on Wednesday evenings following a brief break. Topics included job offers and negotiation, apartment hunting, and The Stew – a mixed bag of questions ranging from health insurance to rental insurance.

Additional events that have been offered to students include “How to Stand Out in a Video Interview,” and “How to Find a Job When the World is on Pause.”

Looking to the fall the Career Center is researching virtual career fairs, currently interviewing for career Peer Advisors, preparing for the next round of Sophomore Success, working on Alumni Job Shadow, and mapping out programming opportunities.

Fairfield Dolan Career Development Center
The Dolan Career Development Center has built an infrastructure to provide Dolan students with support amidst Covid-19 with the following remote and digital resources. Students can visit fairfield.edu/dolan-career to schedule an appointment or attend Zoom drop-in hours with Dolan Career Center staff.

Dolan Undergraduate and Graduate Professional Development Series (PDS)
Students can stay on track and complete their PDS requirements by substituting postponed workshops/events with LinkedIn Learning videos that include similar content. After watching the designated LinkedIn Learning video, students complete a reflection question(s) in order to earn PDS credit. For details contact dolancareer@fairfield.edu.

Online Dolan Events
Students can take advantage of Mock Interviews, Dolan Summer Master Class Certificate Programs, and more. For details and to register student should visit the Dolan portal on Life@Fairfield.

Earn FREE Certifications
Students interested in gaining new skills to strengthen their resume and LinkedIn profile can complete the following online certificates free of charge.

During this time, the Office of Accessibility (OOA) continues to be dedicated to supporting the needs of students with disabilities in order to ensure equal access to their courses and campus life. The OOA continues to conduct intakes for students with disabilities requesting accommodations through an interactive virtual process. After completing the online accommodation request process, students are able to meet virtually with an OOA staff member to discuss their accommodation requests. In addition, the staff of the OOA remain committed to helping students implement their accommodations and have been and continue to be available to meet virtually with registered students regarding any concerns they have with their accommodations or courses.

Throughout the spring 2020 semester, OOA staff remained a resource to students to discuss accommodation concerns and to provide guidance regarding how the accommodations applied to their courses. The OOA also continued to enhance campus partnerships with Academic Computing and ITS to create guidance and online resources to support accommodations online and course accessibility, especially during the final exam period.

OOA staff worked collaboratively with students and faculty to ensure course accessibility and to address accommodation concerns. As summer courses are now beginning, OOA staff have reached out to students taking summer courses, reminding them to submit their faculty notification letter of accommodation to their professors and to reach out to OOA with any questions or concerns. OOA staff continue to work diligently with students regarding how to implement their accommodations in the online settings. OOA also continues to be a support and resource for graduate students and visiting students who are requesting accommodations or who have already registered for accommodations.

For incoming first-year students, the OOA offered virtual drop-in hours to address questions regarding the accommodation request process at Fairfield. The OOA created zoom meetings and waiting room experiences so that they could meet individually with students and their families while insuring privacy. Incoming first-year students are able to start the interactive accommodation request process by visiting the Office of Accessibility website or by emailing ooa@fairfield.edu for further information regarding how to request accommodations.

Highlights

Online Learning

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Online Learning

Fairfield University’s innovative approach to online learning and its pioneering use of digital collaboration tools have positioned our University on the cutting edge of online learning. By utilizing the latest technologies to develop an interactive, media-rich curriculum, we continue to create virtual environments that facilitate improved access to peers, teachers, and support structures while helping students learn more efficiently and effectively in an online space.

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Innovative Research Symposium

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Innovative Research Symposium

Fairfield’s annual Innovative Research Symposium moved from an in-person event to an online format to showcase the scholarly work of 315 students and 84 faculty mentors from across academic divisions. More than 200 research projects were featured on Quip, a collaborative platform allowing the Fairfield community to have an online dialogue with students about their research projects.

30 Zoom sessions took place in which 208 presentations occurred with 1,296 participants engaged in the online Symposium in these sessions and the concluding celebration with Pilobolus Dance Company. Four students and faculty mentors worked with Fairfield’s Media Center to record their presentations remotely to be shared online and across University social media channels.

The Symposium garnered more than 1,800 website pageviews, 5,000 video views, and reached more than 18,000 people through social media.

Fairfield StartUp Showcase

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Fairfield StartUp Showcase

This year’s annual entrepreneurship competition traditionally held in the Quick Center for the Arts transitioned online to showcase five student team pitches to an investor panel for seed money. The StartUp program released a seven-part video series documenting each team’s journey, showcasing the excitement as teams made their pitches through video conferencing, and revealed feedback from the investors. The public was asked to watch the videos and vote for the CTNext/CI Audience Favorite.

This year’s new Showcase format was received with tremendous excitement from the University community garnering more than 3,000 website pageviews, upwards of 2,600 video views, and reached more than 50,000 people on social media.

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Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is an identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the United States.

Important Links

Communications

If you are a parent of a current student and have not yet received a Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) update from the University, please email update@fairfield.edu from the email address you would like to be notified on. Please provide your students name and class-year.

Stags for Stags

Given the urgent and unforeseen needs of our students, many members of our community are already reaching out to help. And, we are grateful to all who seek to help students despite changes in our own lives and circumstances. Please learn more about urgent giving priorities and consider a contribution today.

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