Teaching and Learning

COVID-19 is a factor in planning for the foreseeable future, and as we plan, the health and well-being of our university and surrounding community guide the recommendations and decisions reflected in this working plan. Flexibility is key, and we will continue to review and adapt our policies and practices, keeping foremost the safety and concern for all our populations, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

This document presents a range of scenarios to encourage health-promoting environments and behaviors, including reduced density in offices, classrooms and activities; modifications to face-to-face experiences; hybrid, HyFlex and online courses and experiences; and contingency plans if the COVID-19 incidence rate increases on campus or in the region.

The university will provide central guidance and support for students, faculty, researchers and staff while allowing each discipline to apply its unique approaches to teaching, learning, research and general operations. Aspects of this plan vary and enable individual units with the flexibility needed to meet student learning outcomes and respective missions within the parameters set out in this document.

Supporting principles

Plans must be flexible for the coming academic year and rooted in the following principles:

  1. The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and community is paramount.
    Intentional efforts to exercise personal and collective responsibility are critical to overcoming this crisis. It is only through thoughtful actions that we will account for the health of ourselves and each other. Each decision we make should be in the best interest of public health.
  2. Preserve a positive student experience.
    Faculty and staff are critical partners in student success and ensuring an exceptional student experience—from The Bearcat Promise, to CPS Strong, to Co-op 2.0—our determination to preserve student belonging, satisfaction and success, regardless of our ability to see and physically touch each other, remains.
  3. Maintain UC’s standard of excellence.
    The University of Cincinnati has an accomplished history as a world-class research university. Our commitment to deliver exemplary instruction and student opportunity will remain no matter the modality, be it in a physical classroom or online.
  4. Continuity of teaching, learning, research, and administrative functions.
    Obstacles and challenges do not present themselves at predictable times. We must retain the ability to maximize efficiency and productivity in teaching, learning, co-curricular student development, research and administrative functions within a variety of external and internal conditions.

Academic calendar

Fall Semester classes will start as planned on Monday, August 24. The last day of Fall Semester classes will be held on Wednesday, December 2. Final exams will be held on December 3, 4, 7 and 8. All activities post-Thanksgiving will be online.

Reading Days on October 12-13 will be used as regular instruction days. The university will observe Labor Day (September 7) and Veterans Day (November 11), and no classes will be held on either holiday.Replace with your text

Fall Semester calendar at a glance

  • Fall classes open on Monday, August 24.
  • Reading Days on October 12-13 will be used as regular instruction days.
  • The university will observe Labor Day September 7 and Veterans Day November 11.
  • Final exams will be held December 3,4, 7 and 8.
  • All activities post-Thanksgiving will be online.
  • Full Semester: Monday, August 24, 2020–Wednesday, December 2, 2020.
    • Examinations: Thursday, December 3 – Friday, December 4 and Monday, December 7 – Tuesday, December 8.
  • First Half Session (Session D): Monday, August 24, 2020 – Saturday, October 10, 2020
    • Examinations: Held during last class meeting.
  • Second Half Session (Session E): Monday, October 12, 2020 – Wednesday, December 2, 2020
    • Examinations: Held during last class meeting.
  • Flex Session (Session F): Dates vary.
    • Examinations: Held during last class meeting.

Individual colleges and programs may schedule face-to-face experiences closer to the beginning of the semester. In some cases, it may make sense to work with either the unit head or program director and reschedule a course to be completed as a half session to avoid disruption in the event that the COVID-19 incidence rate in our region might increase during the semester.

Spring semester

Decisions are forthcoming.

Alternative calendar

The Colleges of Law and Medicine normally follow calendars distinct from that governing the rest of the university. As such, these units may need to continue to set their own calendars to meet accreditation guidelines and standards.

Academic advising and instruction

Teaching and learning will include online, hybrid, HyFlex and in-person options. These modalities are currently being developed in ways that will achieve academic excellence, meet student learning outcomes and support the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Academic advising

These specific services and delivery modes will vary by colleges and units. Students will receive information directly from their advising units. In many cases, fully online schedules may be an option for students not wishing to participate in face-to-face instruction. Students should work directly with their academic advisor or course instructor to identify alternative course or assignment options.

Academic programs

UC offers two types of academic programs for both undergraduate and graduate students: traditional and distance learning. Students who apply to and are accepted to a traditional program may take face-to-face, hybrid, HyFlex and online classes based on availability. Sometimes, students matriculated in a traditional academic program may take all online classes during a given semester. Those students are still defined as traditional students because of the academic program in which they are matriculated. Students who apply to and are accepted into an Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE)-approved distance learning program may not register for in-person, hybrid or HyFlex courses. Their curriculum consists of entirely online instruction.

Course delivery

Course delivery assures we meet student learning outcomes while attending to the health and safety of our faculty and students and will accommodate physical distancing and low classroom density recommendations. Because physical distancing may not easily be achieved in traditional classroom settings, academic units must determine if learning outcomes could be met in an online format or if the learning outcomes genuinely require access to facilities that otherwise cannot be replicated or simulated in such a way as to ensure expected student learning within the course or discipline.

Thus, on-campus programs’ Fall Semester courses will include online, hybrid, HyFlex and face-to-face modalities. This approach is designed to provide the appropriate range of high-quality courses delivered in the modalities to meet diverse student needs and afford ongoing progress to academic goals and graduation.

Academic units are preparing to teach the majority of courses online. As student data suggests undergraduate students prefer synchronous courses (those with a designated meeting time), units indicate this will be the primary online modality. Asynchronous formats are also among our offerings especially for programs designed to serve working adults, part-time students,  or students residing in other time zones. Some programs will place thoughtful, high-quality, hybrid/HyFlex courses strategically throughout the curriculum. The intent is to offer students seeking face-to-face academic experiences opportunities for engagement.

When learning outcomes can only be achieved with face-to-face instruction, these components will be delivered appropriately.

Faculty should continue to work with their unit heads for teaching load assignments.

UC defines course delivery (modality) and other campus experiences in the following ways.

Face-to-face / in-person

Traditional face-to-face or in-person teaching and learning requires participants to be in the same physical location at the same time. Face-to-face courses must allow for physical distancing and other health-promoting behaviors. Guidance on classroom capacity and spacing is available through UC Planning, Design and Construction.


HyFlex instruction is defined as an instructor teaching in-person while each individual student freely makes a decision from one day to the next as to whether to participate online or in-person. HyFlex instruction is encouraged to create limited face-to-face experiences for undergraduates on campus. These must be developed with social distancing requirements, a way for students to elect to participate only online, and a plan for a rapid conversion to wholly online if the situation should require such.


Hybrid classes have some required in-person learning, with other learning online. Students will be required to attend part of the class in-person. Other coursework will be completed online.


Online courses and experiences are conducted in a completely digital manner. Faculty are encouraged to prepare to teach courses online using the “Excellence Online at UC” digital framework. Synchronous components and plans for students in alternative time zones are preferred.

Excellence online

Whatever the planned modality for delivering upcoming courses – whether face-to-face, hybrid or HyFlex – all faculty are encouraged to prepare to teach courses online, with synchronous components and plans for students in alternative time zones preferred.

This would allow for maximum flexibility regardless of various scenarios that might occur during the 2020-21 academic year.

As a first step, all courses should prepare a “digital backbone” in Canvas.

To facilitate efforts, UC Online, Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, the Faculty Enrichment Center, and IT@UC collaboratively developed a roadmap for all faculty with tools for planning and creating this digital backbone for online excellence. These “Excellence Online at UC” resources reside in a Canvas course where they can be easily accessed and copied, and where they demonstrate a model for how Canvas can be used to deploy digital content to ensure teaching continuity regardless of the changing requirements that public health might require in Fall 2020 and beyond.

UC has over 20 years of experience with online teaching and learning. The Excellence Online site distills the key elements of that legacy of excellence into several focus areas to help faculty prepare and teach an excellent online course. There are four in-depth topic areas:

  1. Planning for Excellence Online
  2. Online teaching and delivery
  3. University wellness
  4. Instructional technologies

The Excellence Online tools provide guidance for faculty to prepare for teaching online. The digital backbone will also make it easier for faculty teaching the limited face-to-face courses to move fully online if that becomes necessary during the term.

Course attendance, participation & make-up work

We commit to meeting the needs and the best interests of the students while encouraging health-promoting behaviors. Faculty Senate is drafting guidance on attendance, absence and make-up work for students who are ill, caring for sick household members, or unable to attend class due to isolation and quarantine restrictions. Information is forthcoming.

On-campus undergraduate programs 

Face-to-face / in-person instruction

Individual plans for each course are being developed by academic units and are based on appropriate development and pedagogy.

Again, for each course, faculty are encouraged to prepare a “digital backbone” in Canvas that will allow for maximum course flexibility, if needed, due to public health status. Faculty are also encouraged to increase student communication with students.

Wet labs

A team comprised of science faculty members from Arts & Sciences, UC Blue Ash and UC Clermont worked to optimize instructional delivery regardless of modality.

Additional lab supplies (e.g., disposable gloves) may eliminate the need to clean equipment in between student uses and increase class efficiencies. It is acceptable to use Information Technology and Instructional Equipment (ITIE) funds for these additional lab expenses for student health and safety.

Medical & health related skills

Planning continues to evolve for medical- and health-related courses. Ideas include front-loading in-person skill development in the beginning of semester and breaking courses into HyFlex sections to deliver basic content online and application of clinical skills in-person or via simulation technology. All solutions will incorporate accrediting bodies’ recommendations. See more information in the Guide section titled Academic Health Center.

Music & theatre

Face-to-face instruction may be preferred for courses such as voice, wind instruments and theater. In some cases, plexiglass barriers or enhanced ventilation may be placed in practice rooms where students cannot wear facial coverings and social distancing is not effective (i.e., singing, playing instruments). Planning for these courses will continue over summer term. In the event of a surge, preferred modality may need to shift.

Studios / maker spaces

Solutions for studio courses include online instruction paired with the option for access to maker spaces, such as workshops, labs and technology centers by appointment. Studio spaces will be open to graduate students. All students will be required to follow health and safety protocols, such as hand hygiene, use of facial coverings and social distancing.

Physical equipment

Evaluation of courses that involve training on specific equipment is ongoing. Solutions for individual labs include physical classroom modifications or moving equipment to larger spaces to ensure appropriate physical distancing and hybrid and HyFlex approaches that incorporate video to assure students remain familiar with using equipment.

On-campus graduate programs

Face-to-face instruction is generally required for graduate students in clinical-, research-, licensure-, studio-, and performance-based programs (with the exception of Nursing programs). Laboratory research is also dependent on the ability to be physically located in on-campus lab facilities.

It is also worth noting that a significant portion (approximately 30%) of graduate students are international students and require a minimal number of face-to-face courses each semester. above

Programs are encouraged to consider the following:

Pedagogy and curriculum

  • Provide online orientation for students and faculty.
  • Review residency requirements as some students may need to take time off from studies and should not be penalized.
  • Examine agreements with other universities to permit participation in similar classes from locations closer to students’ permanent residences.
  • IT@UC and CET&L can train students with teaching responsibilities so they have the skills to carry out their duties in an online-learning setting.
  • Provide additional support in identifying placements for required experience-based opportunities as they may be limited.
  • Accept opportunities for remote work to meet experiential learning requirements.
  • Provide reasonable adjustments for students with childcare challenges and those with children with modified K-12 educational plans.
  • Utilize HhyFlex teaching that moves larger didactic courses to online learning while prioritizing the courses that require face-to-face delivery.
  • Flip pedagogy so that students complete field work face-to-face and non-field work online.
  • Use asynchronous online course delivery and exams to accommodate for different time zones.
  • Provide synchronous online course delivery (with interactions with students) that is recorded for playback after the class.
  • For courses taught in-person or via synchronous sessions, faculty are encouraged to prepare a “digital backbone” in Canvas that will allow for maximum course flexibility regardless of the public health status (see Excellence Online section above).

Technology and infrastructure

Units should ensure graduate students are aware of technology requirements, have the equipment they need (e.g., high-speed internet, laptop, etc.), and understand how to use required online learning tools such as WebEx, Teams and Canvas. Quick start guides for each are available online to students, and IT@UC and CET&L can work with any of the student organizations on training. Additional technology information is posted on the Public Health website.

Technology resources

In preparation for remote working and online learning in March 2020, IT@UC completed a number of upgrades. IT@UC is now well prepared for current return-to-campus efforts to assist partners in achieving continuity across campus. 


  • IT@UC worked closely with OARnet, the university’s internet service provider, to upgrade internet capabilities from 10G to 20G.
  • Increased capacity of the university’s network and VPN to accommodate anticipated increase in traffic by splitting the VPN capabilities.


Online teaching, learning and research tools

  • Enterprise Academic Technologies (EAT) supports all Canopy tools approved for use across UC. Many colleges require additional technology tools to supplement or replace the Canopy tools. IT@UC works closely with the college IT staff to assist as needed.
  • Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx can accommodate significant increases in usage, including teams for classes. A limited number of 'named-user' Zoom licenses have been purchased for areas with special needs outside of Teams and WebEx.
  • Webinars and tools, such as Honorlock, for proctored testing are available. To date, colleges have requested 27,105 exams in Honorlock. The eLearning Committee is exploring proctoring needs for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Online course strategies, IT assistance and resources and more are posted on the UC’s Public Health website.
  • High-Performance Computing resources available for research.
  • More than double the number of seats are available in MyDesk, which provides students, faculty and staff online access to many of the software tools available in computer labs.
  • Alternative validation methods, such as proxy, MYDesk.uc.edu, etc., must be used for remote access to library databases and resources. Remote access instructions are posted on the UC Libraries’ Off Campus Access page.
  • In order to build a back-up “digital backbone” for in-person, hybrid and HhyFlex courses, please see the “Excellence Online at UC” toolkit.


Uptown campus libraries (excluding Law)

UC Libraries will follow a tiered approach for access to library services and physical spaces. Library updates are posted regularly. Off-campus access instructions are posted on the UC Libraries’ Off Campus Access page.

Access to physical collections is available through Click-and-Collect while library locations remain closed to the public. Pick-up may occur in spaces immediately outside of the library (e.g., the exterior elevator lobby of Langsam). Materials from all locations are now available for weekly pick-up and service use and expansion is being reviewed on a weekly basis.

There is no delivery of materials between locations, no expansion to loans requested through OhioLINK or interlibrary loan (ILL), and no returns accepted from the public, except the Langsam book drop, as is already the case. These service limitations will not change before August 3.

Procedures for handling returned materials are being developed according to national best practices, including quarantining and disinfecting borrowed items.

Initial openings to the UC community

Access to physical library spaces is expected to align with the beginning of Fall Semester on August 24, 2020. It includes, but is not limited to, the 400-level of Langsam and parts of HSL and Blegen Library locations. All of UC’s safety protocols must be met for admittance to these locations in the fall. Most physical collections will remain Click-and-Collect and remaining locations anticipate opening later in the academic year.

Building facilities will be open to the UC community at a minimum of Monday through Friday. Technology will be available but limited to computers, printing/WEPA, and outlet access. Seating will be available in large, open spaces but spread out for physical distancing.

College of Law Robert S. Marx Law Library physical space

The Law Library will be physically open to Law faculty, staff and students, though 24-hour access for students will be suspended. Public access is available by appointment. The Law Library hours will be curtailed to ensure adequate supervision of physical distancing requirements and to allow for adequate cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas. Click-and-Collect services will likely be available after August 24, 2020. Details are forthcoming.

Physical distancing markings will be set up at study tables, the circulation desk, copiers and other places where students may gather. Study carrels, tables and other study spaces will be moved to ensure social distancing between each area.

Circulation and access services

Student workers will be employed to staff the circulation desk and will follow all campus safety protocols.

Physical materials will be available upon request. Law faculty and students can request items via phone, e-mail or in-person at the circulation desk. An employee will retrieve the item, check-out the item and leave the item for the individual in a designated location. Faculty may retrieve items in their mailboxes on the 4th floor, and students may retrieve items at the former reference desk across from circulation.

Non-Law students/faculty can request items for check-out by e-mail or phone, and we will check-out to the patron. Employees will meet the individual to hand off materials and retrieve items.

Likewise, patrons must return items to a designated location for disinfection using a method not harmful to physical books or placement in quarantine for a designated amount of time. Necessary supplies will be available to staff to conduct this disinfecting or quarantining.

The library will provide faculty and students with e-access to materials whenever possible. However, all traditional interlibrary loan (ILL) services will be suspended except for OhioLink. The library will coordinate commitments to OhioLink with Langsam Library.

Acquisitions, archives, special collections & technical services

Personnel can be easily situated according to physical distancing requirements and follow the appropriate levels of sanitation and disinfecting of individual workspaces.

Research, teaching, and reference services

The Law Library will provide a broad array of research support and continue teaching 1Ls and upper-level students in the following ways:

  • Effective use of online teaching tools such as WebEx, Teams, Kaltura, Voice Over Power Points, TWEN, CANVAS, etc.
  • Access to online resources to enhance the student learning experience, such as online study aids.
  • Access to online information through reliable online databases.
  • Reference support through remote means, e-mail, chat, etc.
  • Synchronous and asynchronous research trainings through videos, live sessions, LibGuides, etc.
  • Archiving and dissemination of faculty scholarship.

The Law Library will also continue to create and disseminate tools to build faculty and student skills using legal technology tools in much the same manner as the tools used to support research.

Most librarians working in this department can continue to work remotely in the Fall Semester. If it should be necessary to come to campus, the department will stagger the days that librarians come into the building to maintain adequate physical distancing and minimize the use of the physical space.

UC Blue Ash Library

The UC Blue Ash Library will follow a tiered approach for access to library services and physical spaces in alignment with the Uptown Campus Libraries and the UC Blue Ash College return to campus plans. Updates and information regarding the status of services, resources and support, along with information on how to access resources remotely, can be found on the UCBA Library website and the shared web pages used by all UC library locations. 

Over the summer the physical library space remains closed. Access to the collection (excluding Course Reserves and Reference materials) resumes July 6, 2020, as part of the Click & Collect service. Click & Collect pick-ups are available just outside of the UCBA Library in the Muntz Hall entry/exit breezeway. Virtual research and instruction support continues to be available during this time as well as the contactless, appointment-only laptop and calculator check-out service provided to UCBA students. 

The UCBA Library expects limited opening of its physical facility on the first day of classes, August 24, 2020, with a reduced weekly public-access schedule, Monday through Friday. Public spaces will be accessible for limited services such as check-outs, returns and brief directional/facilitative/technical questions. The accessible space will be reconfigured and signs posted for social distancing.  The collection will remain accessible through the Click & Collect service only. 

UC Clermont Library

The UC Clermont Library will begin summer Click-and-Collect services on July 6, 2020, for its local collection. Summer hours of operation include Thursdays from noon-4 p.m. for materials pick-up only, or by appointment. Requests made by 9 a.m. Wednesdays will be available for pick-up the following day. If no materials have a pending pick-up, the library will remain closed on Thursdays. Appointments can be made by contacting clermontlibrary@uc.edu.

During Fall Semester, the UC Clermont Library will follow a tiered approach for access to library services and physical spaces in alignment with the Uptown Campus Libraries and the UC Blue Ash College return to campus plans. Some level of Click and Collect service and appointments will continue. Detailed plans are forthcoming. Staff will post updates on the Clermont College Library website.


UC Clermont Library expects limited opening of its physical facility on a reduced weekly schedule. The first floor of the library will be available to patrons with reduced seating and computer availability to meet proper physical distancing recommendations. Shared supplies and collaboration rooms are unavailable. The second floor, including access to the collection and private study rooms, will be closed.


Retrieval and pickup services for UC users will commence for requested library materials in the Library Catalog. To request other materials such as laptops or calculators, contact the Clermont Library via email at clermontlibrary@uc.edu. Requested materials will be made available to patrons in a contactless manner.

Reference and instruction

Reference and instruction are available online in synchronous and asynchronous formats.


The gradual return of some researchers to campus began on June 1, marking the first phase of the Return to Campus.

This return is measured and includes those activities that require access to facilities, equipment and/or resources at UC or external locations and is a positive and necessary step for our world-class faculty and researchers to fulfill our mission as a Carnegie R1 institution.

With health, safety and scheduling plans in place as of June 1, more than 1,300 faculty, staff and student researchers have been approved to return to on- and off-campus research activities. These and other researchers who may return at some point are prioritizing time on campus to enhance and improve productivity and research results.

In an overall environment where remote work is still expected and preferred, those researchers whose work necessitates a return to campus can expect that the continuing return to campus will rely on key principles – the most important of which will be to protect and maintain the health and safety of any researchers on campus. Social distancing measures are mandatory, and everyone should expect that the density of individuals on campus will remain greatly reduced.

Any research density changes will be shared by the Office of Research.

The Office of Research has posted online materials to help researchers navigate both continuing remote work and a return to campus. These include FAQs and contact information. As a reminder, resources supporting remote research remain available, including the High Performance Computing resources.

Academic Health Center

The Academic Health Center is comprised of the Colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy.

As indicated earlier in this guide, academic oversight of the educational programs in these colleges comes under the purview of the Provost.

UC recognizes that clinical programs have specific educational and program requirements related to accreditation, licensure and certification. These activities may require exceptions to policies or procedures that limit group size, presence on campus or in other settings, and requirements for physical distancing.

The Provost’s Office has developed guidelines and principles to accommodate these exceptions and a process to evaluate and monitor the exceptions.

Guidance for experience outside the classroom will, in general, adhere to the guidelines in the following section titled “Experience-Based Learning, Co-op, Clinicals, Community Engagement.”

Such clinical training is an essential component of Academic Health Center education programs. Clinical placements are dependent upon the availability of clinical locations that meet the needs of the specific programs and will be allowed if appropriate safety measures, including the availability of PPE, are in place. Simulation remains a key component of clinical education.

These guidelines have been developed with the safety of the students, faculty staff, and patients of paramount importance.

All colleges in the Academic Health Center will follow the university guidelines with respect to facial coverings, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and group size limitations at a minimum. As the key buildings of the College of Medicine are physically connected to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, additional precautions and monitoring may be put in place for access to those facilities.

Experienced-based learning, co-op, clinicals, community engagement

In accordance with State of Ohio guidelines, face-to-face co-op, internships and service learning may take place. Additionally, students employed by UC faculty or other researchers may participate in face-to-face work at the discretion of the Principal Investigator.


Face-to-face experiential learning during Fall Semester remains optional. Students are not obligated to participate in face-to-face experiential learning even though it is now permitted. For students in mandatory co-op programs, the COVID-19 EEP options are acceptable alternatives and will count toward the co-op requirement. Students can relocate for face-to-face experiential learning; however, this policy is subject to change based on evolving public health status.

Many companies and partners across the globe continue to ask employees to work remotely, thus many students have the opportunity to complete co-op and other experiential learning requirements remotely (without physically being onsite at the employer’s or partner’s location).

Additional COVID-19 updates are available on the Career Education website.

Clinical placements and licensures

Programs should assess student placement needs against the established rubric and submit findings to the dean of the college for approval. Please note, you must duplicate the online form before editing or submitting.

To pursue student placements, the following must hold true:

  • Programs must meet accreditation requirements through direct patient/client contact.
  • Direct patient/client contact will occur only with proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), as indicated by UC or CDC requirements. Programs are responsible for ensuring students have the PPE they need. Students may receive PPE through their clinical site and in other cases, the college may need to provide supplies. Colleges may contact Alex Maus (alex.maus@uchealth.com) for assistance in obtaining PPE.
  • All students will be aware of and adhere to established UC and/or the students’ placement sites’ COVID-19 policies and procedures.
  • Students must have the ability to defer face-to-face coursework and programming if they choose. In some cases, this may result in delayed graduation or licensure. 
  • Students will not knowingly have face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 positive patient/client (someone who has tested positive for COVID-19).

Education/licensure field experiences

The appropriate dean of the college or vice provost must approve proposed field experiences for placement outside of the healthcare field (e.g., educator licensure). Plans should consider the following.

  • Students must complete UC COVID-19 training or similar training approved by college.
  • Accreditation requirements mandate experiential learning.
  • Standards of practice across the country are consistent with proposed placement.
  • Programs explored simulated or online field experiences and are not always possible.
  • No direct contact with individuals who tested positive COVID-19.
  • Students must have the ability to defer if they choose. In some cases, this may result in delayed graduation or licensure.
  • The students are already interns (e.g., employees of the site).
  • Students must adhere to any illness-screening policies of UC or the field experience site prior to entry to site.
  • Students must have access to any PPE required by placement sites. Programs are responsible for ensuring students have the PPE they need. Students may receive PPE through their clinical site and in other cases, the college may need to provide supplies. Colleges may contact Alex Maus (alex.maus@uchealth.com) for assistance in obtaining PPE.
  • Program directors and faculty will ensure students adhere to the University Health Services recommendations about reporting known exposure and test results.

Hot zones

Placement of students in hot zones is permitted in certain situations. Hot zones are described as areas where the virus can be easily transmitted and affected persons may be particularly vulnerable. For our purposes, this primarily refers to nursing homes, prisons and clinical laboratory placements.

Program/course directors or college placement officers will verify safety with health officials local to the proposed placement site. In Ohio, check site safety on the Ohio Department of Health website. For out-of-state placements, reference this AARP tool as a first step. The dean of the college must approve all sites. Contact Vice Provost Chris Lewis (lewisct@uc.edu) with questions.

Community-based programs

Units managing community-based programs that bring external participants on to campus (e.g., UCBA Dental Clinic, CECH Arlitt Center, OLLI, Communiversity, Summer Bootcamps, etc.) should develop and submit plans to the appropriate dean of the college or vice provost for approval.

Community engagement

Community Engagement is a broad category that includes volunteerism, as well as activities related to student development and course completion, such as clinical work, service learning, capstone projects, internships, etc. 

As such, community engagement lies within the very foundation of the mission of the university. Having students, faculty and staff engage in meaningful ways throughout the community plays an important role in establishing the university as a member of the community. As needed, engagement opportunities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to consider the priority of the opportunity, as well as the ability to practice established safety protocols. The university will develop a standard agreement to ensure that campus members, as well as the community we engage with, abide by accepted safety protocols. 

Service learning

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and the Office of Service Learning are working collaboratively to identify a variety of service-related initiatives that can be completed online. In addition, these offices are working closely with community partners to determine which agencies can still safely host in-person service opportunities for students and will communicate those through the traditional Weekly Service Update. Finally, the CCE is exploring continuation of the partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools that would offer its popular and highly impactful Bearcat Buddies tutoring program online.

International students

The international student population is integral to UC’s goals of creating a diverse learning and living environment for all students. Finding ways to educate and engage this population during this time is crucial. 

We will continue to monitor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidance on regulatory requirements for international students during Fall Semester. Under normal circumstances, an international student can only use 3 credit hours (or one class) of online courses to fulfill the full-time enrollment requirement (12 credit hours at the undergraduate level and 10 credit hours at the graduate level). DHS has waived this requirement for Spring and Summer semesters and has recently announced that it will continue to waive this requirement for Fall semester.

International students should refer to the International Student FAQ.

International students residing in the U.S.

IContinuing international students residing in the United States will be able to enroll in any courses offered, which could include a full online course schedule. New international students who wish to enter the U.S. for the first time must be participating in a program of study that is not 100 percent online. New international students must be enrolled in at least one in-person or partial distance learning course to enter the U.S. for Fall Semester. In Catalyst, a hybrid course will be designated with an instructional code of “PD” for Partial Distance Learning (26% - 75% online) or “MD for Mostly Distance Learning (75% - 99% online). “PD” designated courses would count toward meeting the full course of study enrollment requirement. “MD” designated courses would not. Programs with a significant number of international students are encouraged to devise individualized plans to serve this population.

International students residing abroad

Many incoming and continuing international students currently abroad will not be able to obtain visas in time to arrive in the U.S. by the beginning of the semester or may choose to remain abroad during the pandemic. DHS requirements will not affect their ability to enroll in a fully online course schedule for Fall 2020.

Newly admitted students might have reduced Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) options if they take their first semester online from outside the country. Programs with a significant number of international students should plan for the possibility of students who may arrive late or cannot arrive at all. Under no circumstances can a newly admitted student come to the U.S. unless their program will have an in-person component. Continuing students may be permitted to re-enter the U.S. at the discretion of DHS regardless of the mode of instruction.

Academic programs are creating opportunities for international students who cannot travel to the U.S. by Fall Semester 2020 to start online. International Admissions and academic advisors will work with first-year international students to ensure that they have a fully online schedule, including access to Learning Communities.

Additionally, Enrollment Management and UC International have identified continuing international students who have returned home and cannot travel to the U.S. by Fall Semester 2020. Many of these students have already scheduled classes for fall with the assumption that they would return. Academic advisors will work with these students to provide a fully online schedule whenever possible. For continuing students, it will be difficult, and in some programs not practical, to provide upper division courses that count towards the degrees.

Communication and cultural differences

All UC units should prepare for how international students will interpret U.S. distancing and safety rules. UC International will communicate with students prior to their arrival to prepare them for UC’s physical distancing and safety expectations, including procedures for health checks and acknowledging differences regarding personal space and interactions.

The university should place added emphasis on:

  • Guidelines to avoid contracting the COVID-19 virus.
  • Communicating the procedures on recognizing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • What to do if students become ill.
  • Further encourage both inclusive language and behavior that embraces all students.

Pedagogy and curriculum

Units are encouraged to consider the following:

  • Some international students may request to defer enrollment to Spring 2021 or Fall 2021.
  • Students with teaching responsibilities may need training to carry out their duties online. IT@UC and CET&L can assist with such training.
  • Preparation for both online and face-to-face instructional formats and the challenges associated with engaging with different cohorts of students.
  • Allowing students to make up work should they face visa delays and arrive on campus after the beginning of the semester.
  • Maintaining special sections of courses (e.g. Technical Writing) for international students.
  • Online learning requires greater use of written communication, which may disadvantage students for whom English is a second language.