Fall 2020

UVA Wise feels empty without you, students! We’re excited to welcome you back to campus soon for the Fall 2020 Semester, but are also keeping our focus on measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In spring, a Fall 2020 Steering Committee composed of faculty, staff, and students was formed to explore the safety measures that can help our community maintain the health and wellbeing of its members. In addition to forming subcommittees to examine best practices in safety, housing, communication, and other pertinent topics, we surveyed you, the students of UVA Wise, about options that we were considering and received valuable feedback. Thank you for your input. It has been vital as we have worked on the plans for Fall 2020, where we have kept your experience as well as your and your classmates’ individual needs as our number one priority.

Our goals for fall are to maintain academic excellence, continue our focus on your individual goals, and sustain the College’s nurturing environment. With those goals in mind, we tackled the challenges presented by COVID-19. Below, we share some evolving plans for what the coming semester will look like. Please check this page as we will keep it up-to-date as new details are shared.


What safety measures will UVA Wise be taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
UVA Wise will follow the Higher Education Reopening Guidance report published by the Virginia Department of Health including, but not limited to:

  • Reduced capacity in classrooms to ensure physical distancing
  • Use of face coverings
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitization of campus spaces
  • Promotion of good hygiene and social distancing best practices

The College is also monitoring best practices for Colleges, Universities, and Institutions of Higher Learning as established by the Centers for Disease Control and will be implementing many measures to heighten safety as fall approaches.

What happens if I test positive or am exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19?
If you are a residential student and you experience COVID-19 symptoms, test positive, or have been exposed to COVID-19, you may be required to relocate to an alternate housing assignment on-campus. You are required to follow the UVA Health Wise Clinic/Virginia Department of Health instructions regarding isolation and quarantine.

If you are a commuter student and you experience COVID-19 symptoms, test positive, or have been exposed to COVID-19, you may be required to self-isolate or quarantine at home. You are required to follow the UVA Health Wise Clinic/Virginia Department of Health instructions regarding isolation and quarantine. Students who do not reside on campus will not be permitted to isolate or quarantine on campus.

I’m an international student or am returning from abroad. Will I need to quarantine prior to moving on campus or attending classes?
Yes, you will need to quarantine for 14 days prior to attending classes or coming to campus. If you are a residential student, you will be permitted to move into a quarantine space on campus to complete the 14 day quarantine period.

Residential students who will need to quarantine on campus will need to contact the Office of Housing & Residence Life at wisehousing@uvawise.edu at least 5 days prior to their return to campus to make arrangements. You may return in enough time to complete your quarantine before the start of classes, but do contact us to arrange for that option.

Students whose quarantine period will overlap with the start of classes will be able to manage their classes remotely.


What will the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar look like?
The College has made three adjustments to the fall schedule. We will start classes a week early, on August 12, complete the semester before Thanksgiving, and eliminate a week of fall break.

August 9 Expedition
August 10 Expedition, Advising and Program Open Houses
Makeup Orientation for students that haven’t completed Virtual Orientation
August 11 Convocation
August 12 First Day of Classes for Block A
August 13 First Day of Classes for Block C
September 25 Last Day of Class for Block A
September 28 Final Exams for Block A
September 30 Foreign Language Common Exam for Block A
October 2-4 Fall Celebration and Convocation Weekend
October 5 First Day of Classes for Block B
November 18 Last Day of Class for Block B
November 17 Last Day of Class for Block C
November 19 Final Exams Block C
November 20 Final Exams Block B
November 23 Foreign Language Common Exam for Block B and Block C
November 24 Final Exams for Block C

How will my courses be scheduled this fall?
Courses will be taught in one of two 8-week blocks (Block A or Block B) or will be taught as a full, 16-week semester course (Block C). All Block A and B courses will meet on MWF and all Block C (full semester) courses will meet on Tuesday and Thursday. Three-credit hour courses in Block A and B will meet for 2 hours in each session and three-credit hour courses in Block C will meet for 1.5 hours in each session. Classes will be held throughout the day and in the evening.

We expect most of you to have a mixed schedule of 4-6 courses distributed across the blocks (e.g., 2 courses in Block A, 2 in Block B, 1 in Block C) to help balance the demands of simultaneous courses, especially if we find it necessary to move all instruction online.

These recommendations are based both on feedback from you and from your professors, and were influenced by research on best practices for student learning. We hope they achieve the need for those in courses to have the opportunity to meet in person; however, we also acknowledge the necessity to create the recommended social distance of six feet apart and recognize that, should infection rates rise, we may have to go fully online.

What will happen to courses if infection rates rise?
All courses will incorporate technology so that faculty and students are prepared to move to a mobile learning platform if coronavirus infection rates rise to an unhealthy level.

  • Some courses will be taught primarily in person, but with the opportunity for students who are immunocompromised to participate in the class via livestreaming and with some aspects of the course delivered online for all enrolled students.
  • Some courses will be “hybrid” – they will meet in person for about half of the time and for the other half, content will be delivered and assignments completed online.
  • Some courses will be fully online, but taught synchronously. In this case, faculty and students will meet via Zoom or another platform at a scheduled time each week. Assignments and activities will all be online.
  • Some courses will be fully online, but taught asynchronously. In this case, most of the courses content will be web-based and completed at the student’s own pace. Occasional meetings of all enrolled students at a designated time may occur.

How will I register for classes or change my schedule for Fall 2020?
New students:  Faculty advisors will work individually with both first-year and transfer students to determine the best schedule for the first semester at UVA Wise. All freshman seminars will be offered as full semester courses.

Returning Students: For returning students who are already registered for fall classes, some changes in the schedule may occur given the new block schedule and different course delivery methods. All students who have registered will receive an email in the next couple weeks with their new schedules and instructions on how to contact an advisor for guidance on changing the schedule, if that is their preference. Changes will only be permitted with an advisor’s approval.

If you are a returning student, but have not yet registered for fall courses, you will receive an email with instructions on how to contact an advisor for guidance on selecting courses. These students will not have access to the system to register until they have met with an advisor.

For questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@uvawise.edu or 276-328-0116.

What academic support can I access this fall?
As is true during every semester, the Academic Support Center at UVA Wise will provide academic coaching, tutoring, disability services, and other types of support to you. However, this fall, the Center will expand their offerings to include virtual online office hours, online academic coaching, online tutoring, tech tutors, and more. Academic Support will also continue their first-generation college student programming, bringing awareness, recognition, and support to many UVA Wise students.


How will living on campus differ from previous academic years?
Residential living this year will look different in a number of ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19. All residents must follow the College’s protocols. Housing & Residence Life is working other College partners to assist you with your transition back to campus by implementing the following measures:

  • Additional hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the residence halls.
  • Common bathrooms will adhere to reduced occupancy and stricter physical distancing standards.
  • Some common areas and lounge spaces may be closed off and other areas may be modified to allow for appropriate physical distancing standards.
  • Housekeeping staff will be cleaning common areas, bathrooms and other high traffic areas more frequently.However, keeping common areas clean will require effort from everyone and we ask that all residents do their part, as well. For example, you can help by ensuring that trash is disposed of properly and wipe down any surfaces in common areas before and after using them.

In addition, one residence hall will be reserved for students in case residential students must quarantine or isolate. This hall will be managed in close coordination with the Virginia Department of Public Health.

The UVA Wise Guide to Campus Living for 2020-2021 will be available by July 1. Currently, you can find the 2019-2020 guide that gives you an idea of what to expect as a residential student and will allow you prepare for moving on campus.

If I choose to live on campus, when can I move in to my room?
UVA Wise will implement a phased move in, by appointment, starting Wednesday, August 5 and continuing through Monday, August 11. Detailed information about Move-In will be sent via UVA Wise email to residents by mid-July. During the scheduled move-in time block, you will be allowed to bring two guests to assist you with move in. Masks will be required when in common areas of the residence halls.

Students participating in a College-sponsored athletic camp, band camp, etc., will receive move-in information from their coach or sponsor regarding the date and time they may move In. Early arrivals for non-College sponsored activities will not be permitted.

Information about Move In Day can also be found at the Move-In Day webpage.


Will there be NCAA Division II athletics on campus this fall?
UVA Wise is following the Virginia Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control, NCAA, and National Athletic Trainers Association guidelines to plan a return to practice and competition for our Highland Cavalier athletes this fall. In addition to following the guidelines put forth for all students, some modifications which may be implemented to prevent the spread of disease for student athletes include:

  • Athletic training services by appointment
  • Limited capacity within athletic facilities
  • Virtual team meetings, if recommended by the Commonwealth or the College (dependent upon the reopening phase of Virginia at a given date)
  • New travel guidelines for teams

Additionally, the College is planning enhanced safety measures and clear communications as we evaluate what the athletics game environment may look like.