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Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:

I recently heard from a wonderful student of mine who was admitted to Notre Dame. He’s fortunate on 2 levels: 1) he’s certain he’ll receive an excellent education this fall; and 2) he’s certain of how his school plans to educate him this fall.

Notre Dame announced plans not only to bring students back to campus this fall but also to bring them back two weeks early on August 10th, forgoing their fall break and sending students home early ending the semester before Thanksgiving, thereby mitigating the impact of the projected second wave of coronavirus predicted to spread this fall. They are among the first colleges to announce a concrete plan for the fall. The California State system, on the other hand, is planning to move forward with online-only education for the fall semester, while the University of California system has yet to decide.

Not all colleges and universities are planning with the same certainty. The Chronicle of Higher Education is curating a current list of schools and their plans to re-open: 67% planning to reopen; 6% planning for remote; 6% planning for hybrid; and 21% still waiting to decide. It’s a challenging time to make plans and prepare, without uniform guidelines and policies school to school. Most colleges have said they are creating contingency plans for a variety of options as things remain in flux.

I hope to see—whether remote, in-person, or hybrid—a round of freshmen seminars this fall cleverly titled: “Contingency, Relativity, Uncertainty: Planning in the Age of COVID-19,” or maybe “Hybridity & Humanism: The Student Who Was Both There & Not There.” We’re hoping our students can eventually still find humor and healthy perspective amidst all this turbulence.

Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

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