Note: These UMaine/UMM FAQs are subject to change at any time. Please check this site regularly for the latest information as it becomes available. The most recent additions and changes are at the top of this page.
Last modified May 30, 2020.
What are the current plans for course delivery in the fall semester? Will we have in-person classes? What is your advice to faculty planning classes and students who are wondering if they should sign off-campus housing leases now to get lower rates?
The University of Maine System has formed a Fall 2020 Safe Return Planning Committee to develop operational plans and protocols to safely welcome students, employees, and the public back to campus. Continuing to comply with state health guidance, Maine’s public universities will be ready to return to face-to-face instruction if group gatherings and interaction are permissible and advisable by the end of August.
Who can answer questions about the spring 2020 pass/fail protocol?
Has the Dean’s List policy been modified for Spring 2020 term?
Due to the unusual and challenging circumstances faced this semester amid the global pandemic, the University has modified its Dean’s List policy for the Spring 2020 term. The requirement that students earn 12 calculable credits to be eligible for Dean’s List has been waived. Instead, students will be eligible 1) if they earned Dean’s List recognition in Fall 2019 and have placed all of their Spring 2020 courses on Pass/Fail; or 2) if they have earned a minimum GPA of a 3.5, regardless of the number of credits taken, in Spring 2020.
What should we do if we have rented textbooks, but still need them for the rest of the semester and, therefore, cannot return them before the deadline?
What is the UMS policy regarding summer 2020 study abroad/travel programming?
Summer 2020 Study Abroad/Travel Programming:
RECOMMENDATION: Given the ever-evolving situation regarding COVID-19, we believe it would be beneficial to have a System decision made at this time to cancel all summer study abroad/travel programming (including both international and domestic faculty-led travel courses). Our reasons for this include:
- Preparations for a study away experience begin months in advance of departure. Given the current DOS Global Health Level 4 Travel Advisory advising all individuals “Do Not Travel,” we do not believe it is appropriate to have students committing resources in preparation for programming that is in direct contradiction to this advisory.
- Students are better equipped to plan for program completion with an accurate understanding of the opportunities available to them. Waiting to cancel summer study abroad could result in missed opportunities to fulfill requirements in alternate ways.
- Our offices are still supporting students in returning to the U.S. from spring study away programming after the recall of all study abroad students. Since the situation is ever changing, it’s too early to understand what conditions will be like on the ground months from now and we believe we must be confident in our assessment of the safety of locations prior to preparing to send students back out.
- Many of our trusted partners in the field have cancelled summer study abroad programming, including: USAC (cancelled all Summer Session I and single summer session programs that begin in late May/early June), API (cancelled many Summer Session I programs as well as certain internships with a start date earlier than June 15), ISA (cancelled all programs with a May start date), CISabroad (cancelled many of their summer programs). From the university side: Harvard Business School (cancelled all international field work programs for summer), Universite de Sherbrooke in Quebec (cancelled all incoming programming through end of August), Louisiana State University, Morgan State University, and University of Maryland, College Park (cancelled all summer study abroad). Boston University and Northeastern University are also discussing cancelling summer study abroad programming.
- The CDC has recommended the cancellation of all gatherings over 50 people through at least mid-May. The nature of study away often requires that students are exposed to groups greater than 50 people through transportation, community connections, orientation, and other activities. Even if this recommendation is not extended, mid-May puts us at, or very close to, departure dates.
- UMS’s Summer Session I has already been moved to online courses only, signifying that even on campuses in Maine, we are not confident we will be able to support in-person interaction. Sending students abroad for in-person interaction during this time presents an entire new set of risk considerations.
- Many of our community partners, both domestic and international, are experiencing dramatic impacts in their operations. We would like to avoid making commitments now, potentially burdening their resources, until we have a better understanding of the longer-term impacts.
By making a System ruling to cancel summer 2020 study abroad/travel programming, we show clear, proactive leadership in protecting our students from navigating unnecessary stress in regards to unknown plans and we demonstrate our commitment to applying CDC and DOS recommendations. Insights from esteemed partners in this field were considered to guide our decision making in order to protect the safety and wellbeing of our students. Connecting students with the world is our passion, and we truly cannot wait for the day we are able to confidently send students out in the world again, but we believe that will not happen this summer. We would like to revisit the status of study abroad/travel programming for early fall in May, to allow appropriate time for planning.
Will summer courses that were to be held on campus still be available? Or will they also be online?
Due to COVID-19 and current CDC recommendations, summer courses starting in May, June, and July will be moved to a remote teaching and learning environment.
- All existing online courses will be offered as scheduled, subject to regular cancellation policy (e.g. low enrollment).
- Students will be notified by email of any course cancellations.
- Up-to-date course information is available on the Summer University website.
If you have further questions, please contact the Summer University staff at 207.581.3143 or firstname.lastname@example.org.