general information

SCHEDULE CHANGES

  • The 2020-21 Academic Calendar was modified to provide our students with the best chance of completing full academic terms of in-person instruction, and to help mitigate the threat of the coronavirus spreading on campus.  
  • The daily class schedule was adjusted for reasons of safety. The time between classes is 20 minutes to allow for spot cleaning of high-touch areas in classrooms and to ease congestion in the hallways. There is no mid-day free period this semester. 

Spring 2021 Semester

  • The spring 2021 semester began February 22, more than a month later than usual, with final exams concluding on Wednesday, May 26. Classes are being taught in the current hybrid format of in-person and online. There will be no spring break. The Monday following Easter (April 5) and a designated President's Day (Wednesday, April 28) will be the only days with no classes. 

Commencement

  • The Graduate Ceremony (MBA/MSA) is planned to be held on Saturday, May 29 on-campus, outdoors (Academic Quad). While the Undergraduate Ceremony (BA/BS) is planned to be held Sunday, May 30 at the Times Union Center. 

classroom & online learning

  • Acceptable facial coverings for the nose and mouth, including cloth masks and face shields are required in classrooms and labs.
  • Faculty office hours will be held either remotely or in-person, as determined by the individual faculty member. In-person meetings will adhere to social distancing and face covering requirements.
  • Course delivery methods are mixed this semester. The Siena faculty are committed to ensuring that every course provides Siena's Education for a Lifetime in whatever format necessary. 
  • Approximately 40 percent of all classes will be delivered either completely online or remotely at the start of the spring semester. Some classes will begin remotely and transition to in-person as pandemic conditions permit during the semester.
  • Live streaming technology enables students to effectively participate remotely in classes that are being offered in person.
  • All student support services are in operation for the semester.
  • Classrooms have been rearranged so that students are seated at least six feet apart. Regardless, masks are always required in the classroom.
  • The College is also holding classes in other spaces, such as the Sarazen Student Union and the MAC. We plan to add tents to permit more in-person classes when spring weather arrives.
  • Thorough cleaning of all classrooms by our custodial staff will occur in the early morning hours. High-touch surfaces are disinfected twice a day by custodial staff; this frequency will be adjusted if needed.
  • Classrooms are outfitted with sanitizing kits for faculty and students to use on their desks, tables, podiums, etc. between classes. 

  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why did the semester start so late?

This decision was made with full community input in early fall 2020 for the following reasons: To wait out the post-holiday spike in cases, to avoid the peak of an expected second wave of the virus, to increase the number of campus community members who can be vaccinated, and to avoid a “twindemic” with the flu season. 

I’m not happy with my class schedule and/or my number of in-person classes. Can I change my schedule?

Yes. Please work with your academic advisor to adjust your schedule. With more than half of all classes including an in-person component, every student should be able to sign up for at least two in-person courses. As the semester progresses, the goal is for more classes (up to 75%) to include an in-person component as the vaccine proliferates and the weather improves. 

Will any classes that are remote or hybrid change to face-to-face later in the semester?

If infection rates remain low and more community members receive the vaccine, it is expected that more classes will be held in-person. 

How can students change their class schedule?

Students should reach out to their advisor, the assistant or associate deans for their schools, or the Student Academic Success and Engagement office if they wish to adjust their schedules. Please refer to the academic calendar for the last days to add and drop classes.

Will tuition and fees be adjusted?

No. Dual delivery of courses requires a significant financial investment. In fact, many colleges include a distance learning fee due to the additional costs of designing and delivering remote courses, including instructional designers, instructor training, media production, and technology. Expenses for labs are also incurred even when they are not in-person.

Am I required to wear a mask in class or in my lab?

Yes, at all times.

Will any classes be held outside once the weather gets warmer?

Siena is planning to set up outdoor classroom tents for a start date of April 1 or later. We plan to set up more classroom tents than last semester to allow for more classes to include an in-person component as the semester progresses.  

How will in-person and off campus internships/experiences for the spring work?

Internships can be offered as long as employers adhere to health and safety protocols. 

What are the alternative class structures?

Face-to-face classes are traditional classes that meet on campus.  Many of these classes may be split, with half of the students meeting in the classroom one day while the other students participate remotely.  Other classes are able to accommodate all students in the classroom at once.

Online, synchronous classes meet only online, but there is a 'live' component at specific designated times so students and faculty can interact remotely.

Online, asynchronous classes meet only online and there is no 'live' component at a specific designated time so students will not need to participate remotely at the same time. 

Hybrid classes are classes that are a combination of online work and in-person meetings with the entire class. 

How are the classrooms being sanitized?

“Green” cleaning solutions are used, followed by disinfectants with high alcohol content.

How are science labs, creative arts studios and other non-traditional classrooms adjusted for social distancing?

These types of instruction settings are restricted to students sitting six feet apart. In addition, Plexiglass barriers and other accommodations were made in some of these spaces.

Are there changes to the hours and/or the configuration of the Library? Can books still be checked out?

Yes and yes. The Library has been reconfigured to adhere to social distancing. There have been some adjustments to the hours of operation, but nothing significant.

What are the face covering arrangements for those who are visually/hearing impaired?

The College will work with individuals to make appropriate accommodations to the best extent possible. Students requiring special accommodation should contact Julia Gold (jgold@siena.edu) and employees should contact Sherrill Brown (sbrown@siena.edu).

Will there still be the option of doing service in the community?

Service in the beginning of the spring 2020 semester should be managed remotely, if possible. Off-campus service opportunities will require approval and a signed agreement by the service site. In all cases, Siena community members must abide by all virus-related College policies such as social distancing and face coverings. Priority will be given for service experiences that are required for academic programs and/or demonstrate significant experiential opportunities. 

Will there be internships?

Internships may be performed in person with permission and agreement by host sites and students regarding precautions and risk.