August 12: Tuition and Room and Board Expectations in the Block Schedule
Dear Students and Families,
As we prepare for the upcoming semester and new academic block schedule with hybrid learning, we have a few updates. As described in previous communications and in the FAQ information on our COVID-19 webpage, our new academic schedule includes four blocks in both the fall and spring semester. Four-credit courses are being designed to be completed within a single block and offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. One and two-credit courses will be offered across blocks (on Wednesdays) or as part of a single block, depending on the course. In addition, we have added hybrid learning to our courses.
What is hybrid learning and how is it different from online learning?
Integral to our planning for this fall was our goal to bring students back to campus. As our class attendance policy states, “Attendance is fundamental to engagement, involvement and community in the Benedictine liberal arts tradition, a hallmark of our institutions.” It is our intention that all students who are able to return to campus will attend their courses in-person. However, there will be situations where students cannot be in the classroom. Therefore, as part of the adapted schedule for next year, we have not only created a block schedule but we are also preparing for hybrid learning.
We are calling classes “hybrid” when the class is held on campus in a classroom composed of people participating face-to-face and people participating remotely. This is a fully synchronous course that will run during the time scheduled by the Registrar’s Office in the classroom assigned by the Registrar’s Office. The reason students may participate remotely: there aren’t enough seats in the classroom, they are feeling ill or are quarantining, or they are not living on campus due to safety or travel issues. Likewise, if the faculty member for the course has an accommodation to teach remotely, the class would still be using hybrid learning. In this case, the instructor is simply one of the people accessing the class remotely.
Given the social distancing requirements, we know that many classrooms will not be able to hold all of the students and still retain social distancing. Hybrid learning will allow faculty to create a schedule with students where some days the student might participate remotely from their dorm room and on other days they will be in the classroom. Students should adhere to this schedule. If there is another reason a student living on campus or in off-campus student housing cannot attend class in-person, that student must receive permission from his/her instructor to do so. If a student cannot be on campus and wants to participate entirely remotely, the technology we are installing allows that student to log into the class and participate “live” with the instructor and other students.
Online learning is the term we use to describe a course that is fully online because we have closed the campus. All participants will access the course remotely. Although we are developing expectations regarding required synchronous Zoom meetings, there will also be asynchronous components in our online classes.
Will our tuition be different depending upon whether the campuses are open (hybrid learning) or closed (online learning)?
Our tuition costs have been established for AY2020-2021 and can be found on the website for CSB and SJU. Tuition will not be adjusted regardless of the form of education delivery. While we are doing everything possible to provide an in-person education via hybrid learning, we are ready to teach in an online format and can maintain the academic excellence you expect from our institutions.
What if I don’t have a course scheduled in one of the blocks? Do I still have to pay full tuition and room and board?
Any student enrolled in 12 or more credits for a semester is considered fulltime and will be charged full tuition. Financial aid, including scholarships, grants and loans will be applied to students’ charges in a normal manner as in past years. A student could enroll in 12 credits by taking three 4-credit courses each taught within a separate block. In this scenario, the student would have one free block, but because the student remains responsible for full tuition, after financial aid, we highly recommend signing up for an additional class in the fourth block. A fourth class does not cost more and allows the student to take full advantage of the block schedule. A student can take up to 18 credits without paying more than the fulltime tuition.
If a student chooses to enroll in only 12 credits and therefore has a block “off,” room and board charges will not be prorated. Because we are saving a residential space for the student and the student is enrolled at the institution as a fulltime student, housing and meal plan charges will still be required.
What if I need to be quarantined because I was exposed to someone who has COVID-19?
Because most classrooms are equipped with cameras and microphones, students who need to quarantine will still be able to fully participate in classes virtually through hybrid learning.
What if I need to take my courses remotely? Can I do this?
We expect that some students may not be able to return to campus for a number of reasons this fall. We will allow students to participate through hybrid learning. However, this option requires prior approval which can be requested by reaching out to residential life at CSB or SJU. Students learning remotely will still be expected to attend class at the assigned time through hybrid learning. Should a student receive a housing accommodation for the entire semester, room and board will not be billed to this student.
Barbara J May, PhD