COVID-19 Resources

Course Formats

What to Expect for Spring 2021

    To reduce population density, support social distancing, and provide a high-quality education, classes will be one of three types. The majority of classes will include in-person learning.

    • In person, on-campus classes
    • Hybrid with a combination of in-person and online classes 
    • Online classes

    The format for each student will vary depending on the courses being taken.

    Hybrid courses will incorporate in-person classes with online modules to enhance the classroom experience. Some hybrid classes might also employ methods for smaller in-person sections. For example, half of a class might meet with the professor one day and the other half another day; the half who are not in the room can participate remotely through live-streaming. Hybrid classes vary in the amount of in-person and online class time, from one or two sessions onsite to as often as weekly onsite meetings.

    Online courses are taught fully virtual. Many online courses include weekly, live, virtual class sessions similar to an in-person course. Check your schedule to see if your online courses include scheduled class sessions. If your online course does not have scheduled meeting times, your instructor will be in touch about any required meetings that may be part of your online course.

    Our faculty determine which courses best suit which format.

    Course format FAQs

    What format will my classes be?

    • New and returning students: After you've registered for classes, you can view your schedule and class formats.
    • All students: See How Will My Spring Courses Be Taught? (pdf) for instructions on how to view the instructional delivery mode for courses.

    Could different sections of the same class have different formats?

    It’s possible. Some courses will be available in multiple formats; hybrid, online, in person. 

    Can I change my classes for spring 2021, if I prefer a different format?

    • New students: Before the first day of classes, send an email to to discuss possible schedule changes. During the first week of classes, contact your academic advisor to obtain approvals for any schedule adjustments.
    • Returning students: You have the ability to adjust your schedule through NazNet Self-Service using the usual drop/add processes through January 22, which is the end of the first week of classes. As always, you can only add courses that are still "open" (have available seats). In-person and hybrid courses may not be overloaded due to COVID-19 room capacity requirements. See the Add/Drop section on the Undergraduate Forms and Petitions webpage and How Will My Spring Courses Be Taught? (pdf) for instructions on how to search for courses by instructional delivery mode.

    What if I need course accommodations for documented health reasons?

    If you need course accommodations for documented health reasons, please contact Erika Hess, Director of Student Accessibility Services, We will work with students to provide reasonable accommodations that ensure equal access to courses. 

    What if I don’t have a documented health concern but want to take courses online because I live with someone who has a health risk or because I would prefer not to take courses on campus for other reasons?

    If you wish to take courses online but do not have a documented health concern, please see the guidance above about viewing your instructional delivery modes and making changes to your schedule. Students can switch into courses on a space-available basis: How to Search for Courses by Instructional Method (pdf). Not all courses are offered online, so a fully online schedule may not be possible.  

    What if I need temporary academic accommodations to maintain academic progress because I am required to self-isolate or be in quarantine?

    Students who need to isolate or quarantine will receive accommodations to ensure you maintain academic progress during that time. Please contact Erika Hess, Director of Student Accessibility Services (, to request an academic accommodation. 

    Can I use Zoom to participate remotely in in-person classes if something comes up (NOT related to official documentation/accommodation) that prevents me from attending in-person?

    As noted above, the college has implemented policies and procedures for students seeking to take online courses due to a documented health concern and for students who are required to quarantine or self-isolate to receive academic accommodations during quarantine/isolation. These are the only circumstances in which students are eligible for accommodations to participate remotely in in-person classes. If something else prevents you from attending an in-person class session(s), please do not ask your instructor if you can "Zoom into" the class. Instead, please contact your instructor(s) in advance of the expected absence to discuss the absence in relation to their specific attendance policy. Missing class for reasons other than official documentation/accommodation MAY negatively affect your grade.

    What if I am new to online learning and need help succeeding in that format?

    See our online course success and preparation information on our student readiness for online courses webpage. Our Center for Student Success (CSS) has also developed tips for succeeding in online courses. If you are struggling with time management or study strategies in online or in-person courses, be sure to take advantage of academic coaching available through CSS.

    Are online portions or online classes high quality?

    Professional development supports Nazareth faculty in developing online courses to best fit our student’s professional and personal requirements. Using multimedia resources, video, interactive learning opportunities, and live sessions in online and hybrid courses, Nazareth faculty will incorporate innovative and progressive methods in their continuing commitment to excellence in both the education and well-being of our students.

    It’s clear that online learning is here to stay both as an integral part of the global college experience and for members of the future workforce in just about every industry. Professionals will be challenged as never before to use virtual platforms to continually learn and adapt to the ever-changing environments that technology will propel.

    Example: In a phonological disorders class, “The hybrid learning experience allowed students to engage in telepractice and professional distance learning in authentic ways that would have been otherwise simulated in a face-to-face class. Further, clinically focused discussion forums allow students to share with, and learn from, all their peers’ field-based experiences and clinical applications,” says Lisa Hiley, Ph.D., assistant professor in communication sciences and disorders.

    What are hybrid class experiences like?

    Hybrid classes offer an opportunity to incorporate elements that would not be possible in person. Virtual field trips, online simulations, and the ability to engage with guest speakers from the community are just a few ways that virtual learning enhances face-to-face instruction.


    • A week in a hybrid course in religious studies could include activities that can be done at whatever time works well for you, a significant advantage of online learning. These activities might look like watching a short video developed by your faculty member, reading a compelling article related to the topic, and completing a written assignment online. In the weekly on-site session, the advance online preparation will help to jump-start discussion, ideation, and hands-on learning activities facilitated by your instructor.
    • Some hybrid courses include a live-streaming component so students can attend both onsite and virtually. For example, a computer science introductory course offers a lecture on Tuesdays where students attend both onsite and virtually, and an onsite, drop-in work day with the faculty member on Thursdays. All students participate in class and complete assignments through online coursework, regardless of their physical location.
    • In a graduate education practicum course, students are normally placed out in the field at K-12 schools, shadowing teachers in the classroom. To create a meaningful and relevant teaching experience for candidates that reflects what actual PreK-12 teaching looks like right now, students are creating online courses. These teacher candidates can use the academic content, learning activities, and their experiences in future job interviews with school building administrators and for virtual instruction with their students. 

    Which classes will be in which formats?

    Our faculty develop the format for each course based on their expertise and determination on best practices, paying particular attention to those courses that might be enhanced by using or incorporating a digital format. Professional development provides our faculty with ways to enhance hybrid/online approaches for high-quality engagement and learning.

    See the instructions at the top of this page: "What format will my classes be?"

    What about classes that require school/clinical/other placements?

    Clinical placements will take a variety of forms. We are seeing flexibility on all fronts as we develop novel approaches to providing enriched educational experiences. In all cases we will adhere to the requirements established by the relevant accrediting bodies to ensure that students meet all the requirements for graduation and certification in their field. 

    On-campus and community placements will reflect the current trends in client delivery in response to the pandemic — possibly combining both face-to-face activities with clients/patients and online activities:

    • For example, in-person assessments for occupational or physical therapy, communication disorders, or creative arts therapy might be combined with therapy conducted online using Zoom or another teleconferencing platform. In-person evaluation and intervention will vary by discipline and face-to-face services will incorporate health and safety guidelines and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Our School of Education is working closely with public schools to line up appropriate student placements that meet New York State Education Department (NYSED) requirements, keep students on track for graduation and certification, and provide enriching, educational experiences. As public schools develop their plans, Nazareth is ready to adapt our placements to their needs and to evolving requirements. To date, NYSED has shown helpful flexibility. 

    What about singing, dance, and other performing arts?

    • Performing arts classes will be held in multiple ways – many fully in-person, with others held virtually or hybrid, with safety needs clearly in mind. The College has drawn on  health research from around the globe about best practices for things like voice lessons, performance classes, and productions. 
    • Most dance classes will be held in person, with social distancing, sanitation, and other safety protocols.
    • For activities involving singing, we continue to offer  virtual, in-person, and hybrid models depending on the nature of the activity and what best allows us to create safe and meaningful educational opportunities. Story: How innovative approaches keep Nazareth students singing >
    • For musical and theatrical productions, we continue to use both existing and new research as guides to ensure the best educational experience within a safe and distanced environment for our performing arts students. Our students successfully presented Chaplin: The Musical onstage in our Callahan Theatre in fall 2020, directed by a Broadway veteran, and shared the video recording.

    What about music ensembles?

    • Large ensembles will be split up into smaller ensembles for the semester. For example, the symphony orchestra will become symphony strings, splitting into two chamber string orchestras. “There is great literature for all of these smaller chamber ensembles, so we are actually quite excited to take a semester and work with our students in this way,” noted Professor Nancy Strelau. The use of smaller ensembles allows us to ensure physical distancing, and the rotation of musicians at times allows minimizing density of people.
    • Choral ensembles will meet all distancing guidelines, use face coverings, and will employ video/recording projects as well as pre-recorded performances. We are finalizing our plans for how to provide the best experience in this situation.
    • For wind instruments, our plans involve lessons in larger spaces, and socially distanced rehearsals and performances based on conclusions about safety from current research. This research is evolving, and several ongoing studies will conclude in the next few weeks. This will inform what we are able to do in person vs. what will need to be done virtually or with hybrid approaches. We are prepared for multiple instructional formats, and will ensure that community safety and educational development are the key guides in all we do.
    • We are also making facilities adjustments to create a safe and distanced physical environment for our music students to play and practice in. This includes adjusting the layout of existing classrooms and practice rooms, and reallocating larger spaces for lessons and academic work to support distancing needs for student and faculty safety.

    What about art classes?

    Many art classes will be divided into two groups of students, to allow plenty of room to space out among art room tables. Each group will have class time and studio work time each week.

    What about science labs?

    All science labs for incoming science majors will include in-person experiences. Chemistry, physics, and science (SCI.Q prefix) labs will be delivered fully in-person or in a hybrid format. Biology courses will be delivered through a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online formats. As with all courses, faculty are planning the delivery modes for science labs with careful attention to what is pedagogically sound and what is necessary to follow health and safety guidelines. Like all classes, labs will require face coverings and social distancing, and surfaces will be disinfected after use. 

    Will courses that are not in person still “meet” for the same number of hours each week?

    Yes. All courses offered at Nazareth College will meet the NYS Department of Education regulations for credit hours. What the meeting or contact time looks like for each course will vary, but could include reading, researching, watching pre-recorded videos, participating in online discussions, and working on collaborative group projects. The credits and hours section of the academic catalog has more information about Nazareth’s credit hour policy.

    Is tuition different for online classes?

    No. Our commitment to students for a robust and engaging learning experience continues, in all formats.  

    As we’ve all adapted to life in the age of COVID-19, our faculty and academic leadership have explored new and different ways to engage students in the quality learning experience for which Nazareth is known. Virtual learning approaches are part of this development. Our work is to ensure that any virtual or “online” learning approaches are not synonymous with substandard or inferior, as is sometimes assumed.  

    In fact, at Nazareth, our faculty and technical teams use strategies to leverage the strengths of virtual learning while also expanding possibilities beyond what would be achievable in a strictly physical setting. Virtual learning still includes the face-to-face and “live” experience that we prioritize for our students.

    Virtual learning modes at Nazareth:

    • Align with our mission to provide rich experiences that provoke meaningful thought, connections, and growth — individually and collectively. 
    • Emphasize and facilitate personal interaction among students and between students and faculty members.
    • Support the student learning outcomes designed for each course, not following a prescribed, “one size fits all” approach. 
    • Typically include a live or “synchronous” component, which means that students are interacting live (actively in the moment) with students and faculty.

    To support our individualized and innovative approach to virtual learning, the College invests significant resources in technology, integrative tools, infrastructure, and professional support so that our students and our faculty can excel in the context of college learning today. 

    Additionally, our students have shared thoughtful feedback, including after the emergency pivot to remote learning during spring 2020. The valuable insight and perspective is actively and intentionally incorporated into our plans, again as part of our efforts to provide an experience that meets both our high standards and the diverse needs and expectations of our student body.

    How are classrooms configured?

    Classrooms are arranged to support required physical distancing. As a small college with an extensive campus, we redeployed non-academic spaces for classroom use to allow for 6-foot distancing, to maximize opportunities for in-person learning. Our repurposed spaces are retrofitted with furniture and technology common to existing smart classrooms to ensure the same high-quality learning environment. You will see touchless faucets, sanitizing stations, and other tools for safety and health throughout the campus. See more about Health, Wellness, and Prevention plans.

    Can students have in-person study groups?

    In-person student gatherings are permitted with health and safety protocols, which include social distancing and wearing masks. Nazareth provides students with access to virtual meeting technology. Academic support is also available through the Center for Student Success.

    Will the library and other spaces be open for in-person study groups? 

    Yes, lounges and nooks exist across campus, including student collaboration spaces in the York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute, on the second floor in Smyth Hall, in Peckham Hall, and in the Arts Center (including near the fireplace). There also are additional rooms in the library for group study, such as the rare books room, the Merton room, and the third-floor Phi Kappa Phi room. There are also spaces across campus that have been designated as Study/Zoom rooms. Please be sure to follow posted guidelines in all of these spaces regarding masks and social distancing. 

    Can I record my classes?

    Whether classes are delivered in-person or virtually, students must always ask the instructor for permission if they wish to record the class. Students seeking to record the class as an accommodation for a documented learning disability should contact Erika Hess, Director of Student Accessibility Services (, to discuss this accommodation.

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