Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Fall 2020 Plan for Teaching

Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 may not attend class, and should instead remain in/return to their room or home and immediately contact Health Services by email at Covid@lycoming.edu. Students will then receive further evaluative instructions on notifying their professors and initiating remote instruction. Call 570.321.4052 during regular business hours for answers to specific questions or with additional needs.

The Curriculum Life Committee (CLC) and the COVID Curricular Committee (CCC) of the faculty thoughtfully developed the modality by which academic coursework and programs will be delivered to Lycoming students. The final plan was established in service to providing the best learning experience possible in a modified residential educational format. This document outlines the background on the teaching modality selected (“remote ready”), an explicit explanation of this modality, and finally accommodations that have been put in place to support students who may wish to enroll and transfer in fully online courses from home.

Background and Definitions

It is first important to understand that the terms “online” and “remote” are not synonyms. An online course is one where all aspects of instruction involve technology. Faculty construct syllabi, choose reading materials, homework assignments, testing instruments and configure daily learning taking into consideration that course delivery will be via technology. This type of course does not generally include any in-person instruction. It is typically taught either fully or significantly without expecting that all students and faculty engage at the same time. Lycoming College does not offer online courses. Most of our faculty are not trained in online teaching. Online education is not part of our mission and is not something for which we are accredited. Given this fact, Lycoming has adopted a “remote-ready” modality which provides the best learning experience for students, as determined by the CLC and CCC, while also affording the ability to transition to fully-remote instruction in response to the spread of COVID-19 and/or federal, state, and local governmental and health guidance.

Delivery of “Remote-Ready”

The CCC recommends Lycoming view the fall as a model that is related to but distinct from what is typically referred to as "hybrid" courses and “HyFlex” courses. Lycoming refers to this unique model as “remote-ready.” “Hybrid” courses allow the instructor to decide which elements would be best delivered in person and which would be most effectively learned via technology. In contrast, “HyFlex” courses give students the flexibility or control of whether they participate in person, remotely, or use a combination of the two. The CLC and CCC has equipped faculty to design courses that are flexible and adaptable so the core content will be taught whether classes are in person with social distancing, in person with several students being remote, or should the need arise for a campus evacuation, continuation within an entirely remote environment with strong continued faculty-student engagement.

Suspension of Transfer Policy

Because Lycoming College does not deliver online courses, the Provost took action on behalf of the faculty to suspend its policy restricting the number of online courses transferable from other academic institutions. Students who are not inclined to take courses in a “remote-ready” environment, may remain at home for the fall 2020 term and enroll in online course from an institution accredited to deliver online education. As with all transfer credits, students must seek pre-approval for specific course transfer credit. Provost Sprunger’s announcement to the faculty and student body is included below:

Advance notice of online transfer credit policy change:

I am writing to give you advance notice of change in Lycoming’s online credit transfer policy. Back in April, Lycoming College suspended the 6‐credit limit for online coursework taken at other institutions between May 1 and August 31, 2020. For a variety of reasons, current Lycoming students might choose to take online classes elsewhere during the fall 2020 term. In recognition of that, and with the endorsement of the Faculty Executive Council and the Curricular Life Committee, I am extending the suspension of the 6 credit rule through the remainder of calendar year 2020. The registrar will soon be making a formal announcement of this change to students and faculty.

As always, students must seek preapproval before enrolling in off-campus courses. The approval process ensures that the transfer course will be accepted and clarifies the course equivalency at Lycoming College. Department chairs are encouraged, however, to not reject courses solely because they are online in nature.