St. Francis College students will return to campus on September 9th, as the College kicks off its academic year under its new fall 2020 plan – dubbed Back to Brooklyn – that prioritizes delivering a stellar academic experience while mitigating risk of COVID-19 transmission.
"We're absolutely thrilled to welcome back students, faculty and staff. It's exciting to begin a new chapter with a student body that continues to demonstrate outstanding resiliency and perseverance in the face of some very challenging circumstances," said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., President of St. Francis College. "Our Committee for Reopening has worked tirelessly to ensure that we are able to make a safe transition back to campus, to continue our mission of providing our students with a quality education that is rooted within Franciscan tradition. The well-being and success of our students remains our highest priority."
Under its Back to Brooklyn plan, St. Francis College's fall curriculum will reflect a hybrid academic model, meaning some courses will include on-campus classroom instruction combined with online learning, and others will be taught fully online.
All U.S.-based freshmen will be part of Terrier Communities, cohorts of up to 20 students that will have the opportunity to be on campus for two classes together on an assigned day each week. The College will conduct some science labs and nursing clinical sessions on campus, too.
About 35 percent of all its students will have course loads that include in-person classes this fall, although all students can opt out of attending any in-person session and complete course requirements fully online if they choose. On-campus College administrative staff will be limited to those with student-facing roles.
For the past several years,St. Francis College has invested heavily in online learning tools and training for faculty so they can deliver the best and most engaging educational experience possible under any circumstance. Most SFC faculty teaching this fall are now certified as online instructors.
"I am so excited to have the opportunity to return to campus this year and continue to take advantage of all that St. Francis College has to offer. I am grateful to the faculty, staff, and administration for prioritizing our safety and our opportunity to learn together in a collaborative setting," said Michael Conlon, President of SFC Student Government. "The student body has a responsibility to respect the measures put in place to protect us and ensure our health and safety this semester."
St. Francis College's campus buildings are subject to rigorous sanitation practices that comply with protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The College requires all individuals on campus to wear masks, socially distance and follow other posted protocols. All community members must sign a Terrier Pledge that affirms their willingness to adhere to College rules, and complete a Health Screening form each day they plan to be on campus.
This year, St. Francis College anticipates an exceptionally large number of new students enrolling. The College has seen a significant uptick in the amount of new committed students -- freshmen and transfers -- at this stage compared to recent years. The College typically enrolls about 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year.