Graphic by Ashley Mowreader
The Seaver Dean’s Office shared guidance for students to prepare for spring semester 2021 course offerings, including information about class delivery format, International Programs and advising. Administration plans to share the final decision on delivery format January 2021.
Pepperdine hopes to offer in-person classes for spring 2021, with a final decision pending but plans in place to offer courses on the ground, Seaver Dean Michael Feltner shared in an Oct. 16 email.
“You should know that Seaver will do its very best to return students to our campuses and deliver classes in person in the spring semester,” Feltner wrote. “As we strive to make this outcome a reality, you may rest assured that the health, safety, and well-being of the Pepperdine community remain our highest priorities and the primary factors guiding our decision making.”
Much of Pepperdine’s verdict depends on guidance from the State of California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Because LA County is classified in the “widespread” tier in the State of California Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Pepperdine cannot hold in-person classes until the county meets criteria of a lower tier reflecting fewer COVID-19 case numbers.
Due to a lack of foresight as to how case numbers will change, Pepperdine created three plans for different delivery options — in-person, FlexMode and online — with five sub-methods.
The five sub-methods of delivery are based on four factors: in-person vs. online and synchronous vs. asynchronous. Face-to-face opportunities are Classroom (C) and Mixed/Hybrid (M), in which students attend all or some course meetings in person, respectively. Classroom Variable (CV) and Mixed/Hybrid Variable (MV) are modifications of Classroom and Mixed/Hybrid classes, except these are offered completely online for those who cannot do in-person class. The fifth option, Online Variable (OV), is provided for students who are unable to attend online classes synchronously.
An in-person decision means classes follow a traditional method of delivery on campus (C or CV).
In FlexMode, faculty determine the delivery methods of each course. FlexMode will be put in place if COVID-19 restrictions do not allow completely in-person classes but students are permitted to live on campus or at any of the International Program locations. Students will be able to select their preferred delivery method for class.
If the University is unable to have students live on campus, the spring 2021 semester will take place completely online, or OV format.
“It is our strong desire to resume spring semester classes in the in-person format, if possible,” Feltner wrote. “If that format is not an option, then we will strive to deliver courses in the FlexMode format with hopefully a significant number of classroom and mixed (hybrid) courses.”
For course registration in November, students will be able to register for classes based on the University’s decision for delivery method. Classes in WaveNet have the mode of delivery indicated next to the course name and number as a suffix.
International Programs remain scheduled as planned for spring semester, and program participants can expect a decision either way before the end of the year, Feltner wrote.
Administration encourages international students who still face immigration and travel restrictions preventing them from returning to Malibu to enroll in the online-only delivery method, though the University hopes conditions improve and will allow for their return, according to the email.
All students should meet with their academic adviser before registering, Feltner wrote.
“I hope this information is helpful as you make important decisions regarding your academic schedule for the spring 2021 semester,” Feltner wrote. “Seaver College remains at the ready to support you, if you need our assistance. I wish you the very best in your fall semester classes and hope to greet you in Malibu when spring classes begin.”
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