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Remote learning at Loyola: a recap of the university’s town hall for sophomores and juniors

Remote learning at Loyola: a recap of the universitys town hall for sophomores and juniors

On Aug. 18, sophomores, juniors, and their families were invited to a virtual Town Hall addressing plans for the upcoming, remote Loyola experience. The meeting, held via Zoom and hosted by vice president Terry Sawyer, was centered around questions regarding deadlines, policies, virtual class structures, the potential of an in-person spring semester, and study abroad details. Among the presenters was Loyola’s president, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., and other representatives of the University.

While the session addressed many topics unique to sophomores and juniors, others were previously covered at Loyola’s Town Hall for first-year students, held the evening prior. For more information about tuition, refunds, deferral requests, and class structure, visit The Greyhound’s recap of Loyola’s first Town Hall on this subject, here

The following is a summary of some of the questions and answers, specific to sophomores and juniors, that were shared.

Has the deadline for when sophomores are expected to declare their major changed?

According to the presenters, department chairs and professors will be available to the class of 2023 and to all students, via email. In addition, both the Academic Advising and Support Center (AASC) and Career Center will be available to all students. Due to these resources, students are expected to officially declare their major by the end of this fall. AASC will send an email to all members of the sophomore class in mid-September, inviting them to officially declare their major if they have not done so already.

How long should a student expect a Zoom class to be?

Associate vice president Cindy Moore explained that the length of a Zoom session depends on each individual professor, much like the Zoom format during the last spring semester. 

“Class syllabi should be readily available on Moodle by Aug. 24th, giving students a sense of frequency and length of each Zoom session,” Moore said.

Will study abroad take place in the spring?

“We hope so. As with last spring and summer, we have to make the decision on study abroad based on global travel information, guidance from the CDC and other health organizations, and partner schools abroad… the decision will be made no later than Oct. 26,” Moore said. 

Can a student register for Loyola classes and cancel out of study abroad if it is cancelled?

“The short answer is no. A person can’t deposit for study abroad and register for classes at Loyola because, in a sense, you are registering for two things at once,” Moore said. 

However, the decision about study abroad programs should be made before students are expected to register for classes.

Will the classes that students chose still be occurring at the same times they were scheduled?

Students should expect that the class times they originally signed up for are the times their virtual classes will be held. Any changes to these times will be communicated by individual professors.

Will there be more class spaces available due to the virtual format?

Provost Amanda Thomas explained that there will not be any additional class spaces.

“Enrollment caps for our classes will not change because they are based on the student-teacher ratio that best fits learning, the particular discipline, and the particular class,” Thomas said. However, students should keep in mind that adding and dropping courses is still an option, and spaces in classes may open up.

What will the grading policies be for the fall?

Although Loyola made the decision to move forward with “Pass” and “No Credit” options during the last spring semester, this will be no longer the case for the fall semester. 

“We made that change in the spring because of the extraordinary challenge of suddenly moving face-to-face to online, but we know we are online the entire semester, so we will use the traditional A, B, C, D grading,” Thomas said. 

How are career services being enhanced to meet the unique needs of students at this time?

Associate director Jim Dickinson explained that career services at the Career Center will be catering to an enhanced virtual experience this fall.

“We learned a lot about shifting to virtual in the spring and have enhanced the experience for this fall. We will have extended one-on-one meeting appointment times every day of the week to fit schedules and have shifted career events and fairs to a virtual event,” Dickinson said.

For more information on the remote Loyola experience geared toward the community at large, visit this recent recap of Loyola’s first Town Hall session.

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Remote learning at Loyola: a recap of the university’s town hall for sophomores and juniors