Falcon day students

Fall 2020: Academics

Classes will be flexible to fit your needs; many services available to support academic success

There is no more important priority at UT Permian Basin than academic success. During these uncertain times, our goal is to offer flexibility and accessibility when it comes to class schedules and modalities. The information below offers a comprehensive look at our overall approach to the fall semester. Things will look different for every student. We are committed to providing flexible alternatives so all students can engage fully with their coursework regardless of their comfort level with in-person learning.

The Fall Calendar

The Fall 2020 semester will begin and end as originally scheduled. The fall semester will start on August 24, 2020 and will conclude on December 11, 2020. All on-campus activities, including scheduled in-person classes will cease before the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes will resume virtually until the end of the semester. The semester will not be extended.

Class Options: Flexibility and Accessibility

UT Permian Basin will offer all classes currently listed on the Fall 2020 Course Schedule. The current published Fall 2020 Course Schedule lists two basic types of courses: 100 % online courses and Synchronous courses.

100 % online courses: (denoted on the Course Schedule with a 700 number) are asynchronous which means students can learn live in real time or later. These courses are generally at the student’s own pace and utilize videos and electronic materials and communication. 100% online courses can be completed totally online asynchronously. There are no prescribed/required campus or virtual meeting times. Since there is not an in-person/in-class requirement for the completion of these courses, 100% online courses should not be impacted by campus operations and protocols related to COVID-19.

Synchronous courses: This option (indicated on the Course Schedule with specific meeting days and times) allows students to learn and interact in the moment/simultaneously with faculty and other students. These synchronous courses may be traditional on-campus/in-person courses, hyflex or hybrid, and remote courses (see explanation below). These courses are indicated on the Fall 2020 Schedule of Courses by the stated required meeting times and days of the week. Students will be apprised by their instructor about the specific modality of their course, including any in-person requirements, on or before the first day of class.

Determining which type of course is right for you is important. Here’s a more detailed look at what each modality offers.

  • Traditional on-campus/in-person courses pair traditional in-class learning with smaller class sizes and physical distance between students and professors.
  • HyFlex/hybrid courses offer a mix of on-campus/in-person and remote/online/electronic learning. These modalities will require less in-class seat time than traditional on-campus courses since enrolled students may rotate between attending class in person on certain scheduled days and participating (synchronously and asynchronously) online or via other electronic means. Most likely, this will be the most common form of instruction in the fall. Students will be apprised about the specific in-class requirements by their instructor on or before the first day of class.
  • 100% remote courses do not require a student to physically come to campus to attend class. However they are required to “attend” class virtually/remotely and synchronously during scheduled days and times. Students are expected to log in and participate in the lecture via video conferences. Like 100% online courses, these 100% remote courses should not be impacted by campus operations and protocols related to COVID-19. Students will be apprised about the specific requirements by their instructor on or before the first day of class

Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Fees

Financial Aid will not be affected if you are not able to take face-to-face classes. You will still be eligible for your financial aid as long as you continue to meet the minimum enrollment requirements for your awards, just as you would in face to face classes. The same goes for scholarships. As long as you continue to meet the minimum enrollment requirements for your scholarship includes credit hours, GPA requirements, etc.

Students will be charged the appropriate fees based on the courses for which they register. If a class has been traditionally face-to-face, but is moved online due to COVID-19, distance education fees will not be charged. If a class has been traditionally online, distance education fees will be charged. Keep in mind a few things a few things about fees: all students pay the Technology, Advising, and Library fees. If a student is in all online classes, they will pay the Distance Education Fee but are exempt from the Student Multipurpose Building Fee, the Student Services Fee, and the Medical Services Fee. If a student is more than 50 miles from campus, they are not charged the Athletics Fee. More fee information 

Safety Measures on Campus

In addition to the general safety protocols instituted on campus, the University has taken measures specifically related to classrooms, labs, and other teaching and learning spaces. Along with the requirement for students to wear masks while in class, the seating capacity in each classroom/lab/space has been reduced in order to allow for the required six feet of social distancing as recommended by the CDC. Since the calculated “COVID-19 room capacity” has reduced normal seating capacity by at least 50 percent, most classrooms and classes this fall will not be able to accommodate all enrolled students at the same time. Therefore, in courses that will require in-person instruction this fall, a staggered attendance approach may be taken and devised by each faculty member for each course based upon course requirements, “COVID-19 room capacity,” and enrollment. Students will be apprised by their instructor about the specific modality of their course (including any in-person requirements) on or before the first day of class. Face coverings are required campus wide. If you are alone in a room, the face-covering may be removed temporarily. When outdoors and separated by more than six feet, the mask can be removed. Faculty may elect to use face shields to facilitate lectures. They may also have a microphone so that online recording will have the best sound.

Academic Support Services

A full offering of support services for all UT Permian Basin students will remain fully operational, often with extended times. This includes Student Success, Academic Advising, the Library, Testing Center, and more. Students should frequently check the UTPB website for any modifications to office hours.

During the fall semester, campus offices will return to regular business hours:

Monday-Thursday 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Friday 8 am - 12 pm

The Library hours for fall are:

Monday -Thursday 7:30 am - 12 am
Friday 8 am - 6 pm
Saturday 10 am - 6 pm
Sunday 1 pm - 9 pm

Faculty will hold office hours in the fall. They may be virtual, in-person, or both. Students should consult their course syllabus to learn about faculty availability outside of class. It is always recommended to make and confirm an appointment with your instructor.

Tutoring is an important component within the Student Success Center. These services remain available for students – in person and on-line. In fact, we actually have extended hours and offer weekend support. We are excited to continue serving students and you can make an appointment here.

Whether you decide to continue your education this semester on-campus or on-line, technology will be an important part of your success. To access the necessary online systems, you will need a computer and Wi-Fi. A tablet, Chromebook, or phone will not run all the necessary software. If you believe you will have difficulty accessing a computer and/or Wi-Fi, please fill out this short survey so we can learn more. We understand that engaging in learning on-line might be new for some students. If you are new to remote learning, you are strongly encouraged to take the one hour training called Orientation to Online Learning. And remember, your professors are your best resource. hey are here to help.

Many of our professors will utilize Microsoft Teams for remote learning. We have created several different training sessions to help you understand this process. There is also a mobile app you can download, which is helpful. Here are some links to helpful videos.

Introducing Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams Tasks
Teams Document

We know this semester looks and feels different than it has in the past. We hope you will find confidence in knowing that our Falcon family is here with you, every step of the way, to support your academic journey. We will continue to offer regular updates for students through the fall using multiple channels including direct email, texts, chats, social media, virtual town hall meetings, etc. It is extremely important for each student remain in close contact with their academic advisors and with each of their instructors especially during this uncertain time.