We applaud the determination you brought to your studies this spring and understand that even though the summer is just beginning, you are eager to know how UMBC will support your continued progress in the fall semester. While much is still uncertain, we want to share our Retrievers Return Roadmap outlining the principles, assumptions, and strategies underlying our plans for supporting students this fall.
We are planning for UMBC to transition to a gradual return to campus for the fall semester. Most courses will continue to be delivered virtually, with fewer undergraduate and graduate courses offered either fully or partially in-person. The courses offered in-person will meet two specific criteria: (1) courses required for majors and graduate programs that need special spaces, facilities, and equipment; and (2) courses designed to help build a connection between new students and the campus. For public health reasons, there will be reduced numbers of students residing on campus. More information about the factors that will be considered for on-campus housing will be available soon. In addition, research labs, as well as studios and performance spaces for creative work, will be gradually reopened beginning this summer using a phased approach. Additional updates for UMBC Shady Grove students will also be available soon.
The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community will remain at the forefront of all of our planning considerations. UMBC’s plan to reopen our campus will be grounded in the best available scientific and public health information and adhere to guidance and constraints provided by federal (including CDC and OSHA), state, and local government officials, as well as the University System of Maryland. Our Roadmap is based on current knowledge and assumptions about what is possible, and we recognize that it will likely evolve as the environment changes.
Students will continue to have a distinctive experience centered on their success and well-being. Hallmarks of the UMBC student experience—including innovative teaching and learning, mentoring, career-building experiences, and student organizations and social life—will continue to be available to our students. Given that the majority of fall classes will be fully or partially online, we are taking steps to provide additional resources for students and training for faculty to support the success of our students as they learn in a variety of settings. The Academic Success Center will continue to support students and their progress by providing access to academic advisors and student advocates.
Our preparations for the fall semester will give special attention to the diverse needs of students. We understand that students have varying needs for access and support, and our planning will take this into consideration.
We understand that many of you may be feeling unsettled about your college experience in this unusual time. At the same time, your perspective and talents are needed now more than ever, and your progress toward your degree will lead to a brighter future when this pandemic is behind us. Know that the UMBC administration, faculty, and staff are here for you to answer questions and work with you on individual concerns. You may contact us at email@example.com. Additional information is available at covid19.umbc.edu.
We are proud of all you have achieved, excited about all you will accomplish, and look forward to welcoming you back to campus as soon as possible. Stay safe.
President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous