COVID-19

Academics

Academics

Learn more about Merrimack’s adjusted spring schedule, teaching, learning, advising and more as the College reopens. 

Winter and Spring 2021 Schedule

The College has adjusted the Winter and Spring calendar by delaying the start of classes and has eliminated breaks and holidays throughout the semester. The Winter 2020 and Spring 2021 calendar is as follows:

JANUARY

4 (Monday) Winter Sessions begin (2-week and 4-week terms)

11 (Monday) CAMPUS OPENS

Housing assignments announced (new students)

13 (Wednesday) Spring update announcement to community

14-15 (Thurs. & Fri.) Town Halls regarding Spring semester

15 (Friday) Spring update announcement to the community

18 (Monday) Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Winter Session classes meet, College is open)

Spring Session 1 (eight-week) online classes begin

20 (Wednesday) Spring semester bills due

20 (Wednesday) Winter Session 2-week terms ends

20 (Wednesday) Town Hall regarding Spring semester

22 (Friday) Last day for adding and dropping Spring Session 1 online courses

Move-in for residential staff

24-26 (Sun.-Tues.) Residential staff training

27-29 (Wed.- Fri.) Student move-in and COVID-19 testing

27-29 (Wed.-Fri.) New student orientation

28 (Thursday) International student orientation and graduate student orientation

29 (Friday) Winter Session 4-week term ends

30-31 (Sat.-Sun.) Graduate commuter and commuter student COVID-19 testing

FEBRUARY

1 (Monday) Spring classes begin

9 (Tuesday) Last day for adding and dropping courses

Last day for converting to or from audit

Last day for conversion of “N” grades for Fall 2020

15 (Monday) President’s Day (All classes meet, College is open)

15 (Monday) Last day to withdraw from classes/housing (with refund)

26 (Friday) Last day to withdraw with a “W” for Spring Session 1 online courses

MARCH

12 (Friday) Last day for Spring Session 1 online courses

15 (Monday) Spring Session 2 (eight-week) online classes begin

16 (Tuesday) Final grades due for Spring Session 1 online courses

19 (Friday) Last day for adding and dropping Spring Session 2 online courses

23 (Tuesday) Midterm grades are due by midnight

APRIL

1 (Thursday) Holy Thursday (All classes meet, College is open)

2 (Friday) Good Friday (All classes meet, College is open)

4 (Sunday) Easter Sunday

5 (Monday) Easter Monday (All classes meet, College is open)

9 (Friday) Last day to withdraw with a “W”

Last day to convert to Pass/Fail

12-14 (Mon-Wed) Junior and non-graduating senior advisement for Fall 2021

15 (Thursday) Junior and non-graduating senior registration for Fall 2021

19-21 (Mon-Wed) Sophomore advisement for Fall 2021

22 (Thursday) Sophomore registration for Fall 2021

23 (Friday) Last day to withdraw with a “W” for Spring Session 2 online courses

26-28 (Mon-Wed) Freshman advisement for Fall 2021

29 (Thursday) Freshman registration for Fall 2021

MAY

3 (Monday) Last day of classes

4-5 (Tues/Wed) Reading days

6 (Thursday) Final examinations begin

7 (Friday) Last day for Spring Session 2 online courses

12 (Wednesday) Final examinations end

12 (Wednesday) Residence halls close

13 (Thursday) Final grades due for Spring Session 2 online courses

17 (Monday) All senior grades are due by noon

18 (Tuesday) All other grades are due by noon

21-23 (Fri-Sun) Commencement weekend

Undergraduate and Graduate Course Delivery Modalities

Students are able to register for Spring classes through the end of the add/drop period. As in any semester, undergraduate students are required to meet with their academic advisor prior to registration, and graduate students are encouraged to consult with their program director regarding planning for registration.

To help students during the registration process, the College has developed definitions for our three main types of course modalities. They are as follows:

On-Campus: Instruction is delivered through face-to-face meetings held at regular meeting times in a dedicated physical space. The learner and the instructor are physically located in the same place at the same time. Students are expected to attend class in person.

Hybrid: Hybrid learning combines real-time, face-to-face teaching whereby some traditional face-to-face contact hours are replaced with required synchronous or asynchronous remote instruction.

Remote: Remote courses are courses where teaching and learning takes place online in real time. It includes a set class schedule and required login/class meeting times. At the undergraduate level, all remote courses will be synchronous, and approximately 25% of all undergraduate courses will be remote only. At the graduate level, the percentage of courses that will be remote depends on the program, and there are some remote courses that are asynchronous, which means that content is available online for students to access when it best suits their schedules, and assignments are completed according to deadlines.

In order to accommodate remote learners, some on-campus and hybrid classes will offer a multi-modal live experience, while others may offer class content asynchronously, with a recording of the lecture available for students. While remote-only students will be able to register for most on-campus courses and participate remotely as outlined above, we encourage remote-only students to register for remote courses whenever possible for an optimal live experience.

Teaching and Learning for Spring 2021 Semester

Remote Learning for Students

Keep Teaching Resources

 

Spring 2021 Academic Calendar

Semester length classes for both undergraduate and graduate students will begin on Monday, February 1. The last day of classes for undergraduates is Monday, May 3, and is immediately followed by two reading days. The final exam period for undergraduates starts Thursday, May 6 and ends Wednesday, May 12. For graduate students, the final day of class is Wednesday, May 12. As was the case in the Fall semester, classes will be held on traditional holidays (including President’s Day, Patriot’s Day, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday). In an effort to limit student travel, there will be no Spring Break. Some programs operate on eight-week terms. For these programs, there are two eight-week terms in the spring. The first eight-week term session begins on Monday, January 18, and it will end on Friday, March 12. The second eight week-term session begins on Monday, March 15, and ends on Friday, May 7.

Undergraduate and Graduate Advising and Registration 

FOR ADVISORS: INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADVISING FOR SPRING 2021
Students can still register for Spring courses through the add/drop period. When students are registering in MyMack for the Spring semester, all classes in MyMack will have the instruction modality (see previous page) identified as one of three options: remote, hybrid, or on-campus. Students and advisors are able to search courses by modality. When students begin registering in MyMack for the Spring semester, all classes in MyMack will have the instruction modality identified as one of three options: remote, hybrid, or on-campus. Students and advisors will be able to search courses by modality.

When advising students, please inform them that:

  • When they log into MyMack they will immediately receive a prompt asking them to declare their status for Spring 2021 and will need to make one of the following choices to proceed with their spring class registration:
  1. I intend to take spring classes as a residential student: Students who choose this option
    will live on campus, will participate in the COVID-19 testing protocol, will be able to select
    all course modalities (hybrid, on-campus or remote), and will be able to utilize all campus
    resources.
  2. I intend to take spring classes as a commuter student: Students who choose this option will
    be able to come to campus, will participate in the COVID-19 testing protocol, will be able
    to select all course modalities (hybrid, on-campus or remote), and will be able to utilize all
    campus resources.
  3. I intend to take spring classes remotely: Students who choose this option will not be part of
    the COVID-19 testing protocol, will not be able to come to campus, will register for remote
    only classes where possible, and if necessary, will register for classes that are designated
    hybrid or on-campus, but will take them remotely.
  4. I intend to take a leave of absence during the Spring semester: Students who choose this
    option will not be part of the COVID-19 testing protocol, will not be able to come to campus,
    and will not take any Merrimack courses.

Once students answer this question, their choice will be recorded in CX and they will be able to navigate around MyMack and register for classes. After students make their choice, they will not be asked again when they log back into MyMack to change their course selections.

  • Fully remote students are encouraged to register for remote-only classes where possible.
  • All students will be able to register for any class, regardless of modality, with the exception that fully remote students should not register for the handful of lab courses that must be taken on- campus. These sections will be identified in MyMack as on-campus only — no remote option.

Additionally:

  • Please encourage students with registration holds to address them. All financial holds and health holds must be cleared before registering. Students should be directed to the Bursar’s Office or Hamel Health.
  • For those advising seniors, please remind them of the Double Warrior opportunities and of the Double Warrior scholarship. Seniors can take two graduate courses during their senior year and receive a 33% tuition scholarship if they apply for admission to a graduate program.

FOR STUDENTS: ADVISING AND REGISTRATION
Students should work with their advisor in preparing for their spring course schedule. Only after they have been cleared by their academic advisor can they register for classes. Once cleared by their advisor, students should log into MyMack and will immediately receive a prompt asking them to declare their status for Spring 2021. They will need to make one of the following choices to proceed with their spring class registration:

  1. I intend to take spring classes as a residential student: Students who choose this option
    will live on campus, will participate in the COVID-19 testing protocol, will be able to select
    all course modalities (hybrid, on-campus or remote), and will be able to utilize all campus
    resources.
  2. I intend to take spring classes as a commuter student: Students who choose this option will
    be able to come to campus, will participate in the COVID-19 testing protocol, will be able
    to select all course modalities (hybrid, on-campus or remote), and will be able to utilize all
    campus resources.
  3. I intend to take spring classes remotely: Students who choose this option will not be part of
    the COVID-19 testing protocol, will not be able to come to campus, will register for remote
    only classes where possible, and if necessary, will register for classes that are designated
    hybrid or on-campus, but will take them remotely.
  4. I intend to take a leave of absence during the Spring semester: Students who choose this
    option will not be part of the COVID-19 testing protocol, will not be able to come to campus,
    and will not take any Merrimack courses.

Students will not be able to register for a course before selecting their enrollment intention for the spring. Once students have designated their intention (residential, commuter, remote or leave of absence) they will be able to register for classes.

Please note: Resident and Commuter Students may take Remote only classes. Remote students may take 98% of on-ground and hybrid classes.

Any students who wish to change their intention should update their selection on MyMack. A form will be available should students want to change their intention. Students who have questions should contact the Task Force.

Graduate students will follow the same MyMack registration process and are encouraged to consult with their program director regarding planning for registration. Students are encouraged to register as soon as they are eligible.

Lab Classes and Personal Protective Equipment Expectations

Each department that offers laboratory-based classes will present clear rules for how those classes will be run in a socially distant and safe manner. Some labs will be remote and some will be in person, and many in-person labs will include remote components.

Each student will purchase their own personal protective equipment (PPE) – lab coat, goggles and face covering – as they would have in prior semesters. If gloves are part of the required PPE, these will be provided. If a face covering breaks in a lab, one will be made available, but it remains the students’ responsibility to ensure that they have face coverings and wear them. The Bookstore has PPE equipment for sale for students.

Academic Policies

Except where otherwise stated in this document, or if modified in the future, the College will be
following all normal academic policies and procedures for the Spring semester. Academic policies and procedures can be found in the College catalog.

 

Attending Class on Campus

The College made changes to its facilities to allow safe social distancing by de-densifying classrooms and other spaces across campus. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to remain vigilant and follow recommended social distancing practices, which are posted around campus.

Reduced Classroom Density

The number of seats in each classroom has been reduced by 50 percent. All desks are facing the front and should not be moved, so as to maintain the appropriate distance between students. This means that in some sections, not all students enrolled will fit in the room at the same time. In these cases, the faculty will arrange for some students to access the course through a remote alternative. Faculty members will provide details for their courses.

Protections for Faculty

Faculty will stand at an appropriate social distance from students and will utilize a rolling plexiglass board for added protection. Even when teaching behind the rolling plexiglass, faculty must still wear a face covering.

Classroom Protocols

It is recommended that students sit in the same seats for each class meeting. Seats and desks should not be moved. Students must wear a face covering while in class. Items such as pens and iPads should not be shared. Students must wear a face covering while in class. Those who refuse will be asked to leave class by the instructor. Refusal to comply with these regulations will lead to a disciplinary hearing including expulsion for multiple violations. In addition, faculty who feel concerned may call Merrimack College Police Department at X5911 who will come to remove the student.

Self-Disinfecting Space

Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are provided outside every classroom and lab and inside each classroom. Students are asked to sanitize their hands and wipe down their desks before they sit down. Faculty are asked to do the same with any surface they touch.

Entering and Exiting Classrooms

Students entering a classroom are asked to remain outside the room and socially distant until the previous class has exited. To appropriately social distance, students should wait in larger areas such as lobbies or outside buildings until it is time to enter the classroom.

After-Hours Use of Classrooms and Academic Spaces

Many campus spaces will be open in the evenings for student use. In these spaces, students must practice social distancing and must not move any furniture. Students are asked to wipe down their spaces before and after each use. If a space is full, students are asked to use an alternative space.

Advising, Success Coaching, Tutoring and Library Use

All academic services will continue in the spring and are accessible to all undergraduate and graduate students, with many of them provided remotely. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Academic Success Center at asc@merrimack.edu or (978) 837-5278.

Academic Advising

Academic advisors are an important point of contact regarding the academic side of returning
to campus. All academic advising relationships will continue as usual. Most, if not all, of these
conversations will take place over Zoom or some other virtual platform.

Success Coaching

Success Coaches will continue to be available to students for one-on-one conversations. Most of these will take place over Zoom or other virtual platform. Success coaches are available all semester. Contact (978) 837-5278 or asc@merrimack.edu. More information about coaching can be found on the Academic Success Center’s webpage.

Tutoring and Study Partner Programs

Tutors and study partners will be available in the spring. Many sessions will take place over Zoom. Math tutoring will be delivered over Blackboard Collaborate. There may also be some on-ground tutoring with appropriate health and safety protocols in place in the Writing, Tutoring and Math Centers. Students can contact tutors or study partners at these centers by emailing tutoring@merrimack.edu.

Academic Accommodations

The Accessibility Services Office is available to help students with specific questions or concerns. Most one-on-one meetings will take place over Zoom. Students can contact the Accessibility Services Office at (978) 837-5722 or accessibilityservices@merrimack.edu.

McQuade Library

The services of the library will be fully operational. The library will be open as a place for students to study, though there has been a change in the layout of chairs and tables to allow for social distancing. Plexiglass dividers have been placed on tables for additional protection. Furniture should not be moved.

For the Spring semester, the library will be open only to the Merrimack campus community.

More information can be found on the library webpage. Librarians can be reached at mcquade@merrimack.edu, at (978) 837-5177 or through text message at (978) 228-2275.

Experiential Learning and Student Employment

Experiential Learning

  • Academic programs with accreditation requirements for experiential learning, field experience and/or internships will work with the relevant accrediting body to create safe and substantive alternatives.
  • Academic programs that have College requirements for internships, field experience and/or experiential learning will be adjusted so students do not need to leave campus to fulfill them.
  • Course-based experiential learning requirements and extracurricular programs with experiential components will be adjusted so that students do not need to leave campus.
  • Programs that have an off-campus experiential learning component required by an accrediting body or as part of their curriculum, should work with their deans to devise a plan. Individual professors that have an off-campus experiential learning component as part of a course must reach out to the Director of the Stevens Service Learning Center to start the approval process.

Off-Campus Jobs and On-Campus Jobs

Due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, there are fewer opportunities in the area, and due to the health risks, there are fewer places where students can go and safely return to campus. As a result:

  • Off-campus employment is discouraged for residential students.
  • The College is expanding its on-campus employment opportunities to help students with the greatest financial need.
  • On-campus jobs can be found on the Handshake webpage. Additional jobs will be added throughout the Spring semester as opportunities become available.

For more information about working on campus, contact Student Employment at studentemployment@merrimack.edu.

O’Brien Center for Career Development

The O’Brien Center is hearing from employers every day. Employer responses vary by industry,
location, job function and more. Some events and positions have been canceled but most are
just being modified to address current challenges. There are still many opportunities available for students to learn about and pursue. Contact the O’Brien Center to understand how to navigate this market.

Students can reach out directly to the O’Brien Center for Career Development and can also review available positions on the College’s Handshake website.