Academics and Research
Niagara University remains committed to maintaining the hallmarks of a world-class education:
- Face-to-face interactions between faculty and students
- Robust, engaged academic advisement
- Engaging academic support and resources
In any modality, our faculty will stay true to Niagara’s mission as a Catholic and Vincentian university grounded in the tradition of the liberal arts while supporting a variety of professional degree programs. Course designs will take into account the broader COVID-19 context in which we are all living.
Each fall offering will include an emphasis on communicating with students and understanding the additional stress they may be encountering due to COVID-19, whether that be physical, emotional, economic, or simply adapting to the different modes of instruction and/or student life. There are several components to meeting the academic needs and the intellectual development of Niagara students.
- Ensure that each student has the technology and internet access necessary for full academic participation and that our student body, as well as our faculty, have appropriate access to IT support to troubleshoot or resolve technology matters related to instruction and learning. Video conferencing systems will be installed in the most-highly used classrooms, with several mobile units for faculty/classroom use (addressing a flexible classroom environment).
- The majority of our undergraduate offerings in the fall 2020 will preserve the in-person classroom experience, complemented with hybrid, flexible, and virtual components. Presently, only classes that were normally delivered in an online modality will be delivered that way in the fall 2020. However, to provide a safe environment for both our students and our faculty, some courses may have limited faculty-student face-to-face interactions.
- Accommodations will be made for students who are unable to attend face-to-face offerings because of health concerns or personal reasons (e.g., an immunocompromised family member). Students who fall ill during the semester with COVID-19 or other health-related matters will be managed case-by-case with the simple standards of empathy, patience, and understanding such that each student is able to progress in the fall 2020 semester.
- Face-to-face classrooms will be structured and assigned in compliance with CDC and professional organization COVID-19 guidelines. This includes 6-foot distancing, taping, and floor decals (including in elevators).
- Access into classroom buildings will be managed with specific directions to direct the flow of students and faculty with specified entrances and “up” stairwells, and specific exits and “down” stairwells. Taping and floor decals will be augmented by the use of AReveryware technology (real-time updates on distancing, directional use - including elevators, hallways, entrances, among other spaces).
- Personal Protective Equipment, as defined by the CDC and/or NYS Department of Health, and in Canada, the PHO and PHAC, will be required of all faculty and students if teaching/learning in a traditional classroom environment, which will include (at a minimum) acceptable face coverings and hand sanitizer.
- Clinical, laboratory, and professional training components will be as strong as in the past; however, there will be careful consideration of how such dimensions of an NU education are managed in the fall 2020.
- Informal learning space on campus (Lower Level Gallagher, the library, study spaces in the Academic Complex, St. Vincent Hall, and Bisgrove) will be designed to promote social distancing, and will require each individual to exhibit appropriate behavior as defined by the CDC or New York State Department of Health.
- All policies and procedures that are in effect and pertain to accessibility and/or accommodations will be adhered to during the fall 2020 semester.