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Top 10 questions from returning students

Dean of Students Patrick Mulick and Provost Melissa Taverner hosted an open forum for returning Lyon students on July 28 to discuss the College’s decision to continue remote instruction for the fall 2020 semester.

“It’s disappointing that we won’t be able to have instruction in the same room,” Taverner said, “but we’re playing the long game here. Our job is to make sure students and the Lyon community are healthy and able to keep doing what we do for a very long time.”

Mulick and Taverner addressed students’ concerns about what this change will mean for their college experience. Read a summarized list of the top questions below:

 

  1. Will Lyon become an online college?

No, Lyon’s mission has not changed. It is not becoming an online college forever.

When circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic change, Lyon plans to have students return to campus for sustainable in-person instruction.

 

  1. Will this affect scholarships?

No, Lyon will not allow the pandemic to affect students’ scholarships. For example, even though varsity sports will not be held this fall, varsity scholarships will still be in effect for those students.

Additionally, students will not be charged for fall room and board unless they apply and are eligible to stay on campus. All students will also receive the Perseverance Grant in recognition of their resilience this semester. This grant will reduce each student’s remaining balance for fall tuition by 15%, and the College will continue the grant into the spring semester with a 7.5% reduction to students’ remaining spring balance.

 

  1. Has the academic calendar changed?

No, classes will still resume on Aug. 18 and conclude on Nov. 20. 

Final exams will begin on Saturday, Nov. 21, and continue through Tuesday, Nov. 24, the final day of the fall 2020 semester.

Lyon is still planning to offer an optional January term, which will be entirely remote instruction. The January term will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and end on Friday, Jan. 29.

The spring 2020 semester will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 2, and end on Tuesday, May 11. Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 22, at 8:30 a.m., and Lyon is committed to holding the event in-person if possible.   

 

  1. Are professors prepared to teach all of their courses virtually?

The Lyon faculty did a month of training and workshops with information technology (IT) professionals to figure out how to structure their courses for online learning.

Taverner said they have had more time to prepare and have a better understanding of how to present their classes online. This will mean less troubleshooting compared to when Lyon had to suddenly shift to remote instruction for the spring 2020 semester.

 

  1. What if you can’t attend your online courses because you work or live in a state with a different time zone?

Faculty members are working on ways to record their classes. If you think this could be a challenge for you, contact faculty members directly and early to start the conversation about how to access course materials.

Taverner recommended students in these situations establish office hours when faculty members can contact them and have live discussions. 

 

  1. Can labs be held remotely?

Some labs, such as the ones for introductory courses, will be held virtually. Upper level labs that do not lend themselves well to virtual experiences will be deferred to the spring 2021 semester.

 

  1. What will happen to Student Life?

The Student Life staff and services will still be available for students. This includes the counseling center, the nurse, and the Student Activities Council (SAC), among others.

The staff is preparing to provide services remotely again this semester. SAC will be hosting online Trivia Nights and virtual group activities.

While these services may be done in a different way, all of the same resources are available to students this year.

 

  1. Will student organizations still meet?

Yes, Social Council, Honor Council, and the Student Government Association (SGA) will continue to meet.

Mulick said clubs and other student organizations will depend on the students involved and their advisors to continue meeting.

 

  1. Will Nichols Trips and study abroad be available this year?

No, Lyon cannot safely send students abroad at this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries are closed to international travel, especially travel from the United States because of the current outbreak of cases.

 

  1. What will happen with work study and other campus jobs?

Residence Life Staff (RLS) will continue in a limited capacity for the small number of students approved to live on campus this fall.

Supplemental instruction (SI), peer academic mentor, and other tutoring jobs with the Morrow Academic Center will continue because those services are still needed.

Some work study jobs may be able to be done remotely, Mulick said, and there will be a limited number of jobs on campus for residential students. He said the College will send that information out before the fall semester begins. 

 

Have more questions? Check out the FAQ section of lyon.edu/coronavirus.