In-person Classes: Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome back to campus! We are excited to start the new semester, but we also want to create an environment that will keep students, faculty, and staff safe during the pandemic. Learn more about how our in-person classes will function this semester in the FAQ below.

Read the general university FAQ for supporting the health and safety of our community.

How does a 'hybrid' class work?

Hybrid means a mix of face-to-face and online learning. Every instructor will approach the structure of their course differently based on content and number of students registered for the class. Maintaining safety protocols is our utmost concern for both students and faculty. If the number of students and changing pandemic conditions necessitate all online instruction, the instructor may decide to teach their course in that mode.

For face-to-face instruction, instructors may choose to alternate days of student attendance or utilize second classrooms in order to achieve low contact and maintain proper social distancing guidelines. Before the semester begins, every instructor will notify students about how their particular course is structured.

Even if my course is 'hybrid', can I request to participate fully online?

Yes, the university expects faculty to provide online access for students who request remote instruction. To facilitate this, IT services provided the art building with extra computers, mobile cameras and iPads to improve the ability to stream video and audio. Online students should be able to access classroom presentations, discussions and critiques either synchronously or by recording.

If my art course is completely online, will we need to meet during class time (synchronous meetings)?

Not necessarily, this may need to be negotiated between faculty and students. While the regularly scheduled time is preferred, class engagement may be asynchronous or at different times from the schedule provided, if all class members agree that the arrangements are acceptable to them. Instructor will provide further guidelines.

Will rooms be sanitized between classes in the art building?
  • A team assigned to the art building will sanitize items normally cleaned by the custodial staff.
  • Approximately one hour will be needed between classes in any room to provide sufficient time to sanitize the space and equipment.
    • No one can be in the room during this time.
  • Some rooms may be currently scheduled with only a 15 minute break between courses.
    • If this applies to your class, the instructor will adjust the start or end time by 20-25 minutes and will notify you of this change.
Where can I sit in-between art classes, especially since the wait-time will be an hour and not 15 minutes.

Sufficient chairs will be placed in the hallways of the art building to accommodate everybody who is waiting. In some cases, desks may also be available.

Are masks required to be worn by everyone?

Yes, everyone must wear a mask or face shield upon building entry and throughout your entire time in the building. If you don"t have a mask, you will be asked to leave the classroom. A face shield is an acceptable substitute for a facemask.

Will the School of Art and Design provide masks to students?

If you forget your facemask, it is possible one may be available from the main art office. However, do not rely on this as supplies are very limited. NIU Housing will provide one facemask to each student living on campus this fall.

Will we be required to socially distance within the building?

Yes, to create a safe learning environment, everyone in the building should maintain at least six feet apart from each other in the classroom, studios, hallways, stairwells, entryways and bathrooms.

Multiple signs will be place throughout the building to remind everyone to socially distance.

  • Due to the limited space within our bathrooms, we recommend that one occupant uses the space at a time.
  • To maximize social distancing in the stairwells, the north staircase will be used for "down only" traffic, and the south staircase will be used for "up only" traffic.
Will sanitizing materials be made available in classrooms and studios?

Yes, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be made available for use during studio and classroom activities as necessary. Students are expected to clean items/equipment/keyboards that are used during class. To be safe, it is recommended that you bring your own personal hand sanitizer as well.

Will I be able to use studios during non-instructional periods such as after-hours and weekends?

Yes, provided that the faculty member agrees that you may use the studio.

  • A sign-up system will be developed for each studio and anyone who is not officially signed up will not be allowed in the room.
  • Sign up will most likely be in an electronic format and monitored to ensure safe occupancy of the studios at all time.
Will room sanitizing services be provided after hours?

Most likely not, which means students must accept personal responsibility for sanitizing their spaces and equipment during off-hours.

Will the School of Art and Design office be open?

The office will be open during regular office hours, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If there is no one in the main office, a note will be on the door to indicate the location of the on-duty staff member.

When will the woodshop be open?

The woodshop will be open, but a maximum of four people can be in the space at a time. Official open hours will be posted outside the door during the second week of classes.

How can I make an advising appointment?

To schedule an advising appointment, visit the main office, room 216 or call 815-753-1473. There will be a new option to schedule appointments online through Navigate. Bethany Geiseman will contact students with details.

How can I sign up for a locker?

The directions to sign up for a locker will be posted throughout the building and Justin Bitner will send an email to all students with more information. When getting items from your locker, you will need to maintain a six-foot clearance from others using there lockers as well.

Can I have food delivered to the Art Building?

Food may be delivered to you in the art building provided the person making the delivery is appropriately masked and observes social distancing.

Contact Us

Janelle O'Malley
Recruitment Coordinator

School of Art and Design
Jack Arends Building, Room 216
Fax: 815-753-7701

Connect with us on


Request Info

Incoming students can schedule a time to meet with School of Art and Design's recruitment coordinator using the button below.

Register Today