Return to Campus

Course Formats

What to Expect for Fall 2020

    To reduce population density, support social distancing, and provide a high-quality education, we have developed three types of class formats. The majority of classes will include in-person learning.

    • In person, on-campus classes (about a third of fall 2020 classes)
    • Hybrid with a combination of in-person and online classes (about a third of classes) 
    • Online classes (about a third of classes)

    Those ratios are the summary for all classes being offered at Nazareth during fall 2020; the format for each student will vary depending on the courses being taken.

    Hybrid classes will incorporate in-person classes with special 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. In some classes, the half who are not in the room can participate remotely. 

    These hybrid classes can vary in the amount of in-person and online class time.

    Our faculty are actively engaged in professional development as they devise the myriad ways to incorporate online modules that use leading digital tools and incorporate elements unique to the online format to enhance the classroom experience. They are making the determination regarding which courses best suit which format.

    Course format FAQs

    What format will my classes be?

    • New transfer students: After you've registered for classes, you can view your fall schedule and class formats.
    • New first-year undergraduate students: Your schedule will be finalized and viewable starting August 3.
    • Returning students (undergraduate and graduate): You can view your fall schedule, including your class format. (Available July 9.)
    • All students: See How Will My Fall 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 fall 2020, if I prefer a different format?

    • New transfer 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.
    • New first-year students: Before the first day of classes, send an email to to discuss schedule changes. During the first week of classes, contact your academic advisor to obtain approvals for any schedule adjustments. Changes to ENGW101, ACS101, and .F courses require additional approval from
    • Returning students: You will have the ability to adjust your schedule through NazNet Self-Service using the usual drop/add processes through August 21, which is the end of the first week of classes.  As always, you will only be able to 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 Fall 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. Detailed protocols are being developed and will be shared soon.

    Will the online portions or online classes be high quality?

    Using multimedia resources, video, interactive learning opportunities, and synchronous 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.

    By incorporating opportunities for student-to-student interaction, collaborative learning, and faculty contact, online courses will strive to build a personalized digital learning community. Nazareth faculty are engaging in professional development to support the development of online courses to best fit our student’s professional and personal requirements.

    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.

    Nazareth faculty teaching online this summer are taking advantage of an expanded ability to interact with a robust digital learning community, because the format supports varied virtual experiences and gives each student a virtual voice. While only a handful of students may speak up in a face-to-face class, online faculty typically hear from everyone.

    Example: In a phonological disorders class this summer, “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 will hybrid class experiences be 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.


    • In a physical therapy course this summer, students are paired with a disability advocate from the community. Through virtual interviews, students try to understand the perspective of each individual as they explain how they navigate through life. In the next class session, students in the class discuss how meeting with the advocate changed their biases or preconceived notions about disability and also examine how this experience will impact their future as clinicians before submitting a final paper on this topic. 
    • 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. 
    • 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 include 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 on-site session, the advance online preparation will help to jump-start discussion, ideation, and hands-on learning activities facilitated by your instructor.

    Which classes will be in which formats?

    Our faculty are developing 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. The professional development our faculty are participating in this summer will enhance the 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 in the fall semester. 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 for fall, Nazareth is ready to adapt our placements to their needs and to evolving requirements. To date, NYSED has shown helpful flexibility. Some of the experiences will need to, and will be permitted to, continue after Thanksgiving break. 

    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 been in discussion with musicians, performers, and public 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, and we have created additional dance and movement classroom spaces on campus.
    • For activities involving singing, we are offering different possibilities of instructional delivery that include 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.
    • We are working to finalize plans with regard to musical and theatrical productions that can be held within safety guidelines. We will 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.

    What about music ensembles? Would an entire band be spaced apart?

    • Large ensembles will 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 live streaming 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 this fall. 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 first year 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. Courses offered entirely or partially online must meet the same learning outcomes and contact time requirements as their onsite counterparts. What the meeting or contact time looks like for each course will vary based on the type of course and the faculty member’s specific approach to instruction. The credits and hours section of the academic catalog has more information about Nazareth’s credit hour policy.

    Why are you not reducing tuition for online classes?

    Our commitment to students for a robust and engaging learning experience continues, no matter the conditions in which we find ourselves in the COVID-19 era. Back in March 2020, we faced an immediate emergency that required shutting down the campus. Our commitment to our students led us to quickly shift their learning to remote delivery, so they could complete the semester and stay on track.  

    Over the last several months, 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 our students in the quality learning experience for which we are 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 are creating and implementing strategies that will 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 will:

    • 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 is investing 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 shared thoughtful feedback last spring after the emergency pivot to remote learning so the semester could continue. Their valuable insight and perspective is actively and intentionally being incorporated into our plans for this upcoming semester, 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.

    Will classrooms be different?

    Classrooms will be reconfigured for safety and health to include the required physical distancing. As a small college with an extensive campus, we are able to redeploy non-academic spaces for classroom use to allow for 6-foot distancing, to maximize opportunities for in-person learning. Our repurposed spaces will be 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 will be permitted, but participants will need to follow health and safety guidelines, which include social distancing and wearing masks. Nazareth will continue to provide 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? 

    We anticipate the library and computer labs being available to students in August, with physical distancing and mask wearing.

    Can campus WiFi handle increased online use?

    Yes, our WiFi and wired networks have been significantly upgraded to handle the capacity needs. We have invested in upgraded network links between most buildings for higher capacity and redundancy — doubling and, in some cases, up to a ten-fold increase throughput. We also upgraded our internet connection and associated networking configuration, adding bandwidth and redundancy via a new provider.

    Are any programs at risk for losing accreditation with the new delivery methods?

    In all cases, as noted on the Course Formats webpage, Nazareth courses 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.

    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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