Dear Students:

Classes begin on Thursday, August 20, 2020. We know that you are eager to be back in Athens. This semester will be unlike any other at the University of Georgia, so here are a few things to help you get ready for your classes.

Check your class mode: Most classes will require you to be on campus and attend classes in-person. However, we need to maintain at least a 6-foot distance between people. This means your classrooms will have reduced seating capacity and can only accommodate some of your classmates on any given day. To address this issue, most faculty will teach in a hybrid mode, where each student will be asked to attend classes in-person on certain days and online on other days. You should hear from your faculty about the expectations for your classes, including days when you need to be in the classroom. Look for an email from your faculty in your official UGA email or check your class e-Learning Commons (eLC) page for more details.  

Some classes, particularly those with large enrollment, have a lecture component and a laboratory or a discussion section. Some of these classes have their lectures online but the laboratory or discussion sections will continue to meet face-to-face. Depending upon the seating capacity of the rooms to meet social distancing requirements, the laboratory or the discussion sections may also require a hybrid approach. 

A smaller number of classes will be taught fully online. These are identified in Athena. To check if a particular class is fully online, please log on to Athena and look for “All Online” in the course details. You can also find this information in the class syllabus or eLC, as these details are finalized. A description of course adjustments can be seen here.  

Check your classrooms: We are reassigning some classes to different classrooms than were originally scheduled. This is being done to accommodate as many students as possible in the room. Your assigned classrooms are being updated in Athena every day this week, so check your schedule before classes begin and make sure you go to the right building and room for your classes. 

Check your class periods: We have changed the class periods and added 5 minutes between classes. This will allow you more time to get to your classes. We encourage you to walk, instead of taking the bus, whenever possible. If you do take the bus, please remember your face covering – face coverings are required when using campus public transportation (including while waiting at bus stops). To see the new class periods, visit the Registrar’s website here.  

Check seat availability: Drop/Add week ends on August 26, 2020. You may alter your class schedules during this period without any penalty. However, be sure to check seat availability in a class before dropping one you are already enrolled in. Remember that many classes have active waitlists until August 17, and once you drop a course, you may be unable to get back into it. We recommend that you talk to your academic advisor before you make any changes to your class schedule.

If you add a new class during the drop/add week, please notify the faculty via email about joining the class and inquire what days you should attend in person. Do not simply show up in the classroom, as limited seating will restrict how many people can be in the classroom at one time.

Check your face coverings: Face coverings are required at all times in the classrooms and inside buildings on campus, even if you are maintaining a 6-foot distance with everyone else. Face coverings protect you and others around you from Covid-19. All classrooms are also equipped with disinfecting wipes for your use. It is recommended that you clean your seating area with these wipes before you sit. This will further help keep you, your classmates and your faculty safe.

Check your calendar: Remember that all classes will move fully online after the Thanksgiving break. Final exams, if required in your class, will be completed online during the exam week (December 11 – 17, 2020). However, campus will remain open during those weeks, and you will continue to have access to services such as the library, academic advising, recreational facilities, and others. If you are conducting research, most laboratories will continue to operate and you should work with your faculty advisors to plan your role during that time. 

Check your eLC:  As you get ready for classes, log into eLC and review the “eLC Experience.” This is a great place for you to identify the resources available and strategies needed for you to succeed in your collegiate career learning in an online, remote, or hybrid environment. You will find information on numerous campus resources, evidence-based online success strategies, and opportunities for practice that set you up for success as fall semester gets underway.

I know many of you have missed being at UGA over the last several months, and we are excited to have you back on campus soon. For all students new to UGA, we look forward to having you join the Bulldog family. We continue to work hard to make sure the campus remains a safe and healthy place to everyone. Please continue to use DawgCheck every day, volunteer for free Covid-19 surveillance testing if you are asymptomatic, maintain physical distance with each other, and have a face covering on whenever you are inside a building. Together, we are Georgia Strong. Dawg Strong.