In times of change and challenge, we are redoubling our commitment to help our students continue to succeed at NIU and to realize their dreams. We are working hard this summer on our plan to provide a safe and engaging learning environment that continues to deliver the same high-quality academic experience you expect from NIU.
The academic calendar for the fall is unchanged, with classes to begin Monday, August 24. Classes are canceled on Election Day, November 3.
The course-delivery modifications that we’ve made for the fall of 2020 are guided by our top priority: the health and safety of our NIU community. Our plan also allows for a smooth transition to completely online teaching and learning should the need arise during the semester.
To provide a safe and engaging learning environment that respects physical distancing, we are offering a mix of fully online, face-to-face and hybrid courses.
Additionally, we will offer some staggered-attendance courses. In a small percentage of face-to-face courses, classrooms cannot accommodate a full contingent of students at one time because of physical-distancing requirements. In those cases, students will either attend class or watch live-streamed events on a staggered and rotating schedule. For example, half of the students in a course might be in a physical classroom on Tuesdays, with the other half watching livestream; and vice versa on Thursdays. Faculty will determine the schedules for those classes.
We will make academic support services available to students through a variety of delivery methods. In many cases, services will be virtual, but physical offices will be open on campus. There will be some optional face-to-face interactions offered with careful consideration of health and safety guidelines. Many services will have extended hours beyond the normal 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. business hours. Our academic support services include:
A wealth of tips and resources for online learning resources can be found on NIU’s Keep Learning website.
University Libraries will continue to support students and faculty.
We’ll be providing support to keep our students connected.
Students who use the services of the Disability Resource Center (DRC) will continue to be able to do so virtually through a platform of their preference. The DRC will follow all protocols and guidelines outlined by the university when campus reopens. When the DRC opens for face-to-face appointments and accommodated exams, protective face masks will be required. Students can contact Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Education (AAEOE) to request a workplace accommodation and/or report an accessibility barrier.
We understand that the future is unpredictable. With that in mind, we are focused on creating a caring and safe place to learn, in an environment that prioritizes individual well-being and builds hope for tomorrow. We encourage our students to do their part, too. Please be patient, stay on top of university communications and stay in touch with your advisors and instructors.
More detailed information will be provided closer to the start of the school year. Students also should see the list of Frequently Asked Questions about the fall 2020 semester.