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Return To Campus Plan

Lipscomb University's comprehensive plan to return to campus.

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COVID-19 Update

Lipscomb University Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 update and response.

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Academic Life

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Your faculty are excited to welcome you back to class on campus. They have been working this summer to create classes with a remote option to continue learning for students who have health concerns that limit their in-person class time and in the event of a second COVID wave. Your academic progress and learning are important and we are committed to help you achieve your academic goals this semester.


What will the class schedule for the fall semester look like?

The fall calendar is the same as originally published with fall classes beginning August 24 and the last day of finals on December 16. A few graduate programs, such as pharmacy, will begin classes on August 17 as planned. We anticipate and are committed to providing a full semester of academic coursework so you can continue your academic career path. 

That being said, there are a few schedule changes you will notice in the fall semester. 

  • Fall Holidays and Breaks. Holidays and breaks within the fall semester such as Labor Day and Fall Break have been removed from the academic schedule. This allows us to create a class schedule that has more flexibility should that be needed in the event of a second COVID-19 wave in our region.
  • Thanksgiving Break Closure Dates. The residence halls will be closed for the Thanksgiving break from Saturday, November 21 - Saturday, November 28. All residential students must vacate the dorms for these dates. Any exceptions must be approved in advance by the dean of housing and residence life. 

  • Remote After Thanksgiving. For undergraduate courses, the fall semester will continue with on-campus classes until Thanksgiving break and the last week of classes and finals will be delivered in a remote format. In an effort to be mindful of both additional travel expenses and individual student health concerns, residential students will have the option of staying home after Thanksgiving break and completing their coursework and finals remotely or returning to campus to complete the semester remotely. Room and board fees will not be adjusted if students choose to remain home following the Thanksgiving break. 

    The delivery format for graduate courses following Thanksgiving will be determined on a course-by-course basis by the department and following local guidelines in place at the time. 

  • Fall Graduation. We will monitor the regional guidelines to determine the format of the December graduation. At this time, we are planning for an in-person graduation program on December 19. 

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Will Global Learning programs happen this fall?

Global learning is a vibrant and important part of our community. As we often say “Some of your best days at Lipscomb will be spent miles away.” Our global studies program has active semester-long programs in Costa Rica, England, Austria and Italy. Unfortunately, given the continuing health concerns and travel restrictions surrounding international travel, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the fall global learning programs. Even with that sad news, we are moving ahead with investment in our global learning program and on-campus activities for students interested in future international travel opportunities. In the next few weeks, we will finalize the purchase of the Florence villa that has served our global students so well for the last few years. This is a significant investment in our global learning program and is made possible by a generous donation from a donor committed to the exceptional learning experience that a study abroad opportunity provides. In addition, our global learning team will plan and offer chapels and other gathering opportunities during the semester for students who plan to go on future global learning experiences.

For students who were planning to participate in a fall global learning experience, we have a dedicated team working with these students to register them for fall classes and reserve appropriate dorm space, if needed. Also, these students will have priority reservation status on future global learning experiences once we can resume international travel.

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Will my fall classroom experience be different?

  • Classroom Reviews. Our commitment is to provide an outstanding learning environment with the flexibility needed to serve remote students. So, a team has been hard at work reviewing over 100 classroom spaces and creating a plan for adding the appropriate enhanced technology to enable remote learning. This technology alone is just over $300,000 to equip the classroom spaces with remote teaching and learning capabilities. This team has also prepared an appropriate physically distanced plan for each classroom which reduces the number of students in the physical space as well as reviewed with our service operations team the daily enhanced cleaning protocols. All of these efforts are investments we are making now to ensure not only that we are ready for students to return in the fall but also that they have an exceptional learning experience
  • LipscombFlex. During the summer months campus personnel are working to create a unique course delivery model we are calling LipscombFlex. LipscombFlex will offer faculty and students a flexible means to adjust the mode of teaching classes that includes both in-person and remote/online learning opportunities. How each class incorporates LipscombFlex will be dependent on the class content, room design, student and faculty safety needs, and learning modality best suited for the topic.

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Will there be online options?

  • Online Class Options. Given the unique and challenging health situations the COVID-19 pandemic presents, students with health concerns may want to request to take their coursework in an online or remote format. We are equipping our classrooms with technology that will enable students to participate in their traditional coursework either on-ground or virtually. Students who need to participate virtually in all coursework will move through an application process by completing this Remote Coursework Request Form

    • Online/Remote in Traditional Courses. In the traditional class schedule, some fully online courses are offered each semester. Students can locate these courses in the class schedule by selecting to filter on "web" as the delivery method. Students can check the class schedule and see if a course they are already registered for is also available in an online section. 

    • Lipscomb Online Courses. Lipscomb Online (LO) is an academic branch of the institution that offers a fully online learning experience for students. This fall all Lipscomb students can select as part of their block tuition to enroll in any Lipscomb Online courses that meet their degree requirements. Although not every course offered in the traditional curriculum is available in LO, many of the LO courses, especially in the general education curriculum, are online exact replicas of the traditional, on ground classes. Students interested in taking LO courses for this fall can review the course list here. For more information, please contact Lipscomb Online at online@lipscomb.edu

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What if I need accommodations?

  • Student Accommodations. As we continue to prepare for students to arrive on campus in August, it is important to us that we provide a safe, productive, and successful learning environment for you. If you have a documented need for accommodations, please contact the ACCESSability Program at AccessAbility@lipscomb.edu as soon as possible. 

    • ADA Accommodations for Documented Needs. Lipscomb’s ACCESS Ability Program will continue to provide accommodations for ADA-documented needs. We ask any student who has a request for an ADA-documented accommodation to make your request to the ACCESS Ability Program by completing the ACCESS Registration/Intake Form as soon as possible. The earlier you make your request, the more time we all have to work together to achieve a viable solution to adequately address your situation. If you have any questions about ADA accommodations, please email AccessAbility@lipscomb.edu or call 615-966-6021.

    • COVID-19 Specific Accommodations. The new COVID health and safety protocols at Lipscomb University, as well as the CDC guidance regarding people who are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications, may present additional accommodation needs for some students who otherwise would not need to request them. These needs include (1) lip reading capabilities related to mask design, (2) documented health complications due to wearing a mask, and (3) remotely participating in all coursework for the fall semester due to increased vulnerability for contracting the disease. As with ADA-recognized accommodations, it is important to make us aware of your need in order to support you.

      • Lip Reading and Mask-Wearing Accommodations. The safety protocol of mask-wearing has been shown to be effective in lessening the spread of COVID-19. However, the type of mask worn by a professor may inhibit the ability of the professor to communicate with hearing-impaired students due to the fact that reading lips will not be possible. Also, remote participation in coursework might inhibit communication for these students. In these cases, it might be necessary to request particular faculty to wear shield style masks or to request a fully on-ground classroom experience for the fall semester. In addition, some students have documented health issues with wearing a mask and may need to request an exemption from doing so. To inform us of your documented needs related to mask-wearing, please complete and submit the Mask Accommodation Registration & Request Form on or before July 24, 2020. This will give us time to evaluate your request for exemption and communicate your needs to faculty.

      • Remote Coursework Accommodations. Students with conditions or circumstances that increase vulnerability to contracting COVID-19 as determined by the CDC, may desire to request remote study for fall semester 2020. If approved, this request would mean that a student will engage in coursework in a virtual environment without attending any classes in person. This request is important and serious as it will mean that the student cannot be on campus due to the enhanced likelihood of contracting the virus. To request the remote study accommodation, please complete and submit the Remote Coursework Request Form on or before July 24, 2020. If you are granted remote study status, you will not be allowed to change from that status during the fall semester. Also, be advised that a limited number of courses (i.e., some science labs) will not be able to be delivered remotely. Please consult with your academic advisor if schedule changes are necessary. 

      • If you have any questions regarding any specific accommodations, please email AccessAbility@lipscomb.edu or call 615-966-6021. 

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What will the class schedule for the spring semester look like?

We anticipate and are committed to following the same spring class schedule as originally published with spring term classes beginning January 11 and finals ending on May 5. Many of the details for the spring semester are still under consideration and will be determined later this summer or in the early fall semester. Stay tuned for more information as we see how the pandemic situation evolves over the summer and into the early fall semester. 

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Will anything be different in my classes and labs?

Yes. For the health and wellbeing of students and faculty, here are some things we are working on related to classroom and lab learning environments:

  • LipscombFlex. All classes will be designed using the LipscombFlex model. LipscombFlex will offer faculty and students a flexible means to adjust the mode of teaching classes that includes both in-person and remote/online learning opportunities. How each class incorporates LipscombFlex will be dependent on the class content, room design, student and faculty safety needs, and learning modality best suited for the topic. For example, in some classes, this may involve students rotating attending class in-person while others join in remotely. 
  • Physical Distancing. Where possible, the physical configuration of classrooms and lab spaces will be arranged to provide students and faculty with appropriate physical distancing requirements. 
  • Masks/Face Coverings. When physical distancing is not possible, students and faculty must wear appropriate masks or face coverings. While wearing a face covering may not be a favorite accessory, the CDC and medical experts advise that wearing one is a primary safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is because many individuals who are infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic but are still highly contagious. And, they unknowingly infect those around them. When a face covering is worn properly, it limits the exposure of others to a possibly infected individual. This is a time to put others first, especially those in our community who may be more susceptible to the virus given age and/or high risk health factors. We are confident that our community members will respect others and wear a face covering when it is in the best health interest of our community.  

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What about tuition and fees?

The institution has gone to tremendous efforts to respond to and prepare for the COVID environment we are all finding ourselves in. The millions of dollars we have invested will be evident in the enhanced resources, supplies, facilities, equipment, and staff needed to support and assist students as needed. In the classroom we are prepared to provide students with multiple learning options (in class, remote and online) to fit your needs during this semester. Students will receive a high-quality education regardless of the delivery mode or course format. Lipscomb is committed to your academic and personal growth and will support your learning and development consistent with our mission to provide you with a rich learning experience that is innovative and inclusive. We are pleased to inform you that these additional costs are being absorbed by Lipscomb. The tuition and fees paid by students are in exchange for learning, academic credit and certain non-academic services that will be provided and will be the same whether courses are provided on campus, in a hybrid environment or in an entirely remote or online format. 

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What about room and board fees?

We have received some questions about what will happen to room and board charges if conditions change during the COVID-19 pandemic and the institution is required to move to a fully remote learning and living environment as happened in March. If that is the case this fall, Lipscomb will issue credits based on actual fall room and board costs billed by the University, net of any scholarships, discounts, outside third-party payments and direct costs incurred by Lipscomb. Credits will also be determined following the University's Direct Cost Policy as listed in the University catalog. Any eligible credits due to a student will be applied to the following semester for all returning students. For graduating students, any eligible credits will be first applied to any remaining balance and any excess will be refunded. 

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