Fall 2020 Update for International Students

The Center for Global Engagement would like to provide an important update concerning enrollment for Fall 2020 and receive your feedback in a survey. We are here to serve you as a new international student and help you plan for your first semester in the United States.

As we await further details from state health officials, it is increasingly clear we are likely to face two possible options for the fall reopening:

Hybrid/Blended Model, by which on-campus operations can resume with modifications to ensure the health and safety of both students and employees. Students would arrive to campus and participate in both on-campus as well as online courses.

Fully-Online Approach with little or no campus presence for students and only minimal on-campus presence for essential personnel.

Along with many universities in the region and throughout the United States, Duquesne has indicated its strong preference for the Hybrid/Blended Model, but the Fully-Online Approach will remain an opportunity for all international students.

Hybrid/Blended Model Explained

In the Hybrid/Blended Model, students would return to campus as planned in August; and on-campus learning would take place within the parameters of guidelines established by state and local officials and the CDC. Almost certainly, several elements of campus life will need to be adjusted.

Residence Facilities, Dining and Common Areas

While residence halls may be permitted to house two students in per room, furniture will be re-arranged to maximize distancing. We may ask some students to voluntarily defer moving into the residence halls for some or all of the fall semester so that the total number of students in campus housing is reduced for safety purposes.

Students will continue to have access to the Gumberg Library, the Student Union, the Chapel, and the Power Center exercise facilities. Yet those spaces, too, will be operated with furnishings and operations adjusted maintain social distance.

On-campus dining will feature a wide variety of new grab-and-go options to reduce the foot traffic in dining facilities; seating in those facilities will be spread out. 

Classroom Instruction and Hyflex Blending

Classrooms, too, will be organized differently. One important feature will be new technology-enabled HyFlex courses. Such courses allow for some students to attend the class in-person while others simultaneously attend and participate remotely through an online interface.

Students attending classes in-person will be spaced apart. Their peers who attend the same class attending virtually will be able to see and interact with the entire class.

Some classes may be structured to permit half of the class to attend in-person on one day, and the rest of the students to attend in-person on another day, alternating in-person and online instruction to optimize safety.
Classes may begin earlier and/or later in the day, even using Saturdays, in order to provide sufficient classroom times to reduce the number of students in classrooms at any given time.

Certain classes, based upon their suitability for remote learning, as well as individual health concerns of specific faculty members, may need to take place entirely online.

Testing, Tracing, Hygiene Protocols and Public Health Awareness 

All individuals on campus will need to observe safety behaviors for their own protection and that of others, including wearing masks, washing hands frequently and self-monitoring for illness or symptoms. 

Sanitizing products and equipment will be available so that learning spaces, dining facilities and other common spaces are disinfected regularly as students enter and leave a particular space.

Signs, information, and floor markers will be placed around campus and in classrooms and meeting rooms to provide visual reinforcement of social distance guidelines.

The University's cleaning protocols and supply stores will be enhanced to ensure they are maintained throughout the semester.

Digital thermometers and temperature screening devices will be used in strategic locations to detect students and employees with elevated temperatures.

While masks, hand sanitizer and other supplies will be readily available as needed by students and staff, we will strongly encourage all students and employees to acquire such supplies in advance for their individual use.

Student Activities, Organizations, Mentoring and Well-being

Our student life teams are also enhancing efforts to connect students with faculty early on so that all students have an opportunity to build relationships with their professors, ensuring that they will receive personal attention in navigating any issues they encounter.

A special Mentorship Program is being created for all freshmen, so that each entering freshman has an upper-class student to serve as a mentor throughout the academic year to provide support, guidance and encouragement as they begin their educational journey at Duquesne.

Our student life teams are developing many new initiatives to foster student activities and interaction so that the feeling of connectedness and collaboration among our students is more robust than ever.

Take the International Student Fall 2020 Survey

Given the information, we wanted to ask you some specific questions that are relevant to international students so we can serve you better. Of course, the answers to your questions will depend on a number of factors such as whether you are able to obtain a visa in time, if there are flights available from your home country, etc. We only ask you to answer these questions about your plans about the fall semester.

Take the Survey

The Center for Global Engagement appreciates your assistance and commitment to being part of our community. If there are any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at intladmission@duq.edu.