Connection and Guidance as You Persist

Monday, March 29, 2021

image with caption
Masked students attend class in the Sanford Stadium West End Zone .

With the third instructional break day on the horizon and midterms behind us, your strong performance in the first half of the semester shows your continued commitment to your learning. We know there is no singular pathway to navigate learning during the pandemic, so we reached out and compiled a few tips from your peers about how they are managing the academic side of college life right now. While I know that it is not always easy, I am glad to see many of you showing up to class and providing a robust learning experience for yourself and your peers.
 
We continue to reinvent existing services and establish new programming or resources to serve each of you. Over the past year, we have invested in technology upgrades in more than 140 classrooms making many large classrooms effective for videoconferencing - an upgrade that will be put to innovative use in a post-pandemic classroom. For spring semester, we have also expanded learning into non-traditional classroom spaces such as the UGA’s Chapel and Sanford Stadium West End Zone so more of you could attend class in person. 
 
Understanding that some students are still feeling isolated, we have extended the Connect program, which partners students with faculty. The program fosters connections and helps students feel engaged with the University and their academic goals through a personalized network. Check out what one first-year student shares about the importance of connecting with faculty.  With a growing number of faculty participants, we are confident you will find your niche; apply here.
 
Summer courses are open for registration and will be offered in one of the five instructional formats used this spring. Athena will list course formats by April 5, 2021. Students and faculty must continue to maintain six feet or greater distance from each other in classrooms and wear appropriate face coverings in all UGA buildings. We are continuing to follow guidance from the Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention, and we will notify the UGA community should that guidance change.

Fall 2021 Planning
As you likely read in this recent memo, with wider availability of vaccines we anticipate resuming normal operations in the Fall Semester, including a return to full in-person instruction, full capacity in our residence halls and dining facilities, and regular operations for other campus services.

However, we will continue to monitor the pandemic closely and will follow public health guidance from the University System of Georgia, the Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
In preparation for the fall, I strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with your advisor in SAGE now to discuss fall classes and get cleared for registration (starts April 1) if you have not done so already. With the move to remote advising, it is now easier than ever to knock this off your to-do list. Advising calendars are filling up fast, so schedule today to ensure that you are ready as soon as your registration timeframe opens.
 
Despite the pandemic, I applaud all of you for your perseverance in navigating multiple instructional formats this semester and creating an educational pathway that is just right for you. If you have any questions about your next move here at UGA, please feel free to contact me at ovpi@uga.edu.

Sincerely,
Rahul Shrivastav
Vice President of Instruction