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For Students

COVID-19 Resources

For the most up-to-date information regarding the impacts of COVID-19, please visit: https://www.northwestern.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/

For the latest developments, visit:
https://www.northwestern.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/developments/

Fall 2021 Academic Policies and Procedures

As referenced in the Northwestern June 25 announcement, the vast majority of services and activities on campus will return to in-person status for the 2021-2022 academic year. For us in the School of Communication, this means all classes will resume meeting in-person, lessons will take place in teaching studios, and classes will be held in School of Communication clinics, production, performance and rehearsal venues. Our administrative offices will be staffed and will continue to provide both in-person and remote services. Faculty will be able to offer academic advising and office hour appointments both in-person and remotely.

All Northwestern students, faculty/instructors and staff must follow University health and safety guidelines regarding required vaccinations, masking and testing.

Symptom Tracker
While we are prohibited from asking anyone about their vaccination status, and will use SymptomTracker in the School of Communication to verify that individuals may participate in on-campus activities.

Given the unique and varied teaching activities in our School, we strongly encourage everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to show their Green SymptomTracker badge as they arrive at a class, rehearsal, or any other in-person activity. This practice makes SymptomTracker an additional reaffirming tool to maintain health in our community for in-person activities.

The new SymptomTracker functionality provides three levels of health/compliance status (Red, Yellow or Green) based on three criteria:

  1. Health attestation on COVID-19 symptoms
  2. Negative COVID-19 test
  3. Testing compliance

Red = A positive test or for individuals who are currently experiencing symptoms or who are in quarantine or isolation. Not permitted to come to campus.

Yellow = Although there isn’t a positive test or any health attestation symptoms, this individual is not in compliance with required testing. Not permitted to come to campus.

Green = No positive tests or health attestation symptoms, and this individual is in compliance with required testing. Permitted to come to campus.

Undergraduate Academic Advising

The Office of Undergraduate Programs and Advising will be staffed M-F 8:30 am – 5:30 pm and will continue to provide both in-person and remote services. Students have the option of meeting with their academic advisor(s) either in person or remotely.

To Schedule an Appointment with Your Academic Advisor: call 847-491-7214  or visit: https://connectnu.northwestern.edu/

Accessibility

Northwestern University is committed to providing the most accessible learning environment as possible for students with disabilities. Should you anticipate or experience disability-related barriers in the academic setting, please contact AccessibleNU to move forward with the university’s established accommodation process (e: accessiblenu@northwestern.edu; p: 847-467-5530). If you already have established accommodations with AccessibleNU, please let your instructors know as soon as possible, preferably within the first two weeks of the term, so they can work together to implement your disability accommodations. Disability information, including academic accommodations, is confidential under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Building Access, Equipment and Protocols

Clinics: All School of Communication clinics will continue to operate in compliance with current health and safety guidelines.

Academic Lecture, Discussion, Seminar and Lab formatted classes: Planned to occur in-person based on assigned locations with no current minimum distancing guidelines or capacity limitations. Faculty/Instructors and students must wear masks in indoor shared public spaces.

Acting, Music Theatre, Dance, Design and Performance classes: Planned to occur in-person based on assigned locations (Evanston and Chicago) with no current minimum distancing guidelines or capacity limitations. Faculty/Instructors and students must wear masks in indoor shared public spaces when it does not interfere with singing, scene work, rehearsals and performance. Masks are required at all times for crew. Actors are permitted to take masks off during scene work, rehearsals and performances ONLY when actively performing. Confirmation of a Green SymptomTracker of everyone in the cast and crew is required.

Voice Lessons: Voice lessons will be held in-person in their usual venues. Currently, there are no minimum distancing guidelines or capacity limitations, reduced class lengths, or periods defined between activities for air circulation. Students must wear a mask during lessons whenever possible, but students are allowed to remove their masks during lessons as required to sing and replace them once lessons conclude. For added protection, faculty/instructors and accompanists must continue wearing masks. Confirmation of a Green SymptomTracker of everyone in the studio is required.

Student Rehearsals for Coursework and Class Projects (ex: Recitals, Capstones, Thesis Performances): Student access to the Alvina Krause Studio, Wirtz – Evanston and Wirtz-Chicago facilities resumes as provided during pre-pandemic conditions. Faculty/Instructors and students must wear masks in indoor shared public spaces when it does not interfere with singing, scene work, rehearsals and performance. Masks are required at all times for crew. Actors are permitted to take masks off during scene work, rehearsals and performances ONLY when actively performing. Confirmation of a Green SymptomTracker of everyone in the cast and crew is required.

RTVF Student Production Classes: Students must follow the Student Film Production COVID best practices guidelines as detailed on the RTVF website. Students will be required to take a Panopto multiple-choice test, administered by RTVF course instructors during the first two weeks of classes, assessing their understanding of these guidelines. All crew members should be NU students who are currently enrolled in classes. Masks are required at all times for crew. Cast members (or documentary subjects) are permitted to take masks off ONLY during rehearsals and filming when actively performing. Confirmation of a Green SymptomTracker of everyone in the cast and crew is required.

Extra-Curricular and Student Organization Performances, Readings, Auditions

Student access to the Alvina Krause Studio, Wirtz – Evanston and Wirtz-Chicago facilities resumes as provided during pre-pandemic conditions. Faculty/Instructors and students must wear masks in indoor shared public spaces when it does not interfere with singing, scene work, rehearsals and performance. Masks are required at all times for crew. Actors are permitted to take masks off during scene work, rehearsals and performances ONLY when actively performing. Confirmation of a Green SymptomTracker of everyone in the cast and crew is required.

Practice Rooms: Student access to practice rooms resumes as provided during pre-pandemic conditions. Access to practice rooms requires an active Wildcard, and student cards are programmed with different access to certain rooms depending on a student’s area of study or specific needs. Students can also reserve practice rooms through the 25 Live reservation system. Students using a practice room alone are not required to wear a mask. Students practicing with an accompanist or other students are required to follow the masking mandate unless removing the mask is required for singing. Confirmation of a Green SymptomTracker of everyone in the practice room is required.

As already stated, we strongly encourage the practice of showing your Green SymptomTracker badge as you arrive at a class, rehearsal, or any other in-person activity.

Productions and Performances

The public will be invited to attend performances in the fall. Additional information regarding ticketing and venue capacities will be forthcoming. All audience members and performance staff must wear masks at all times.

All policies and plans are subject to change to comply with government and University guidelines.

Fall 2020 Academic Policies and Procedures

Undergraduate Academic Advising

All student advising will take place remotely during the Fall Quarter.

Academics

  • You recently received an email from the University Registrar outlining class schedule publication and registration timelines.
  • Descriptions of fall class offerings, including the teaching mode of each class, have been published on the Class Descriptions page. Most classes offered in the School of Communication will be remote. A select number of design and clinical practice-based courses will meet exclusively in-person and are identified as “face to face.” Most acting, dance, design, directing, lab, performance and production classes will offer a combination of remote and in-person learning and are identified as “hybrid.”
  • The final schedule for undergraduate and graduate classes will be posted to CAESAR, prior to registration, during the week of August 10. Feel free to contact the Undergraduate Student Resource Center dear-soc@northwestern.edu, your academic advisor, program director, or DGS if you have questions about course modalities.

Building Access, Equipment and Protocols

  • Students in relevant SoC academic programs will have access, albeit in a limited capacity, to SoC-managed facilities and equipment that support the experiential learning components of their academic courses. These include Wirtz Center practice rooms, The Alvina Krause Studio, the Cage, editing suites, research labs, etc.
  • We’re working with Facilities Management to develop access and use policies that comply with current and evolving health and safety guidelines such as social distancing, capacity limits, cleaning protocols, and resting time between equipment returns and checkouts. We will update you with these plans and post them to the SoC website as we get closer to the start of the Fall Quarter.
  • SoC IT has been working with NUIT and faculty across the School to address technology and software considerations to optimize remote learning. Program specific information will be shared by your academic department and posted to the SoC website.

Productions and Performances

  • In compliance with local and federal health guidelines, no public programs or performances with in-person public audiences will be presented by the School of Communication during the Fall Quarter.
  • We anticipate that a number of production and performance opportunities will be developed in coursework and shared via livestream and other digital media platforms. Policies and procedures are currently being developed to support on- and off-campus digital media content production.
  • We know that for many School of Communication undergraduates, participation in student theatre organizations, community service groups, and sports clubs are an important part of your Northwestern experience. Information regarding fall 2020 Student Organizations and Activities, including student-run productions that operate under the oversight of Student Life, will be updated and shared with you in the coming weeks.

All of our outlined policies and plans are subject to change to comply with government and University guidelines.

Spring 2020 Academic Policies and Procedures

Advising

Academic advisors will continue to support you, and are available to meet virtually. SoC students can continue to schedule meetings via Inspire (advising.northwestern.edu). Non-SoC students can email dear-soc@northwestern.edu or call 847-491-7214, and an administrative assistant will help to get you scheduled.

Spring 2020 Grading Procedures and Policies

Pass/No Pass

Northwestern has instituted Pass/No Pass grading for all undergraduates enrolled during Spring Quarter 2020. Policies regarding how these pass/no pass courses will be applied to degree requirements can be found here.

Spring Quarter Schedule

Northwestern classes will be delivered remotely for spring 2020. Some key dates Include:

  • Saturday, April 18: The last day to add a class or change a section for spring 2020. This is a firm deadline. Due to the abbreviated quarter schedule, late adds cannot be accommodated after this date. During the scheduled add period, students can generally add classes online through CAESAR, though there are some exceptions.  Some classes require a permission number or signature for online registration, provided by the instructor at their discretion.
  • Friday, April 24: The last day for tuition adjustment related to enrollment changes (to or from full-time) for spring 2020.
  • Friday, May 29: The last day to drop a class for spring 2020. During the scheduled drop periods of each quarter, students can drop any course online through CAESAR without instructor approval. It is very helpful when students have received a grade before this deadline so that they have a basis for deciding whether to drop a class.

Any drop exceptions approved after May 29 will be reflected on student records as Withdrawals (W grades)

A more detailed academic calendar can be found here: https://www.registrar.northwestern.edu/calendars/academic-calendars/index.html

Recording of Synchronous Remote Class Sessions 

Unauthorized student recording of classroom or other academic activities (including advising sessions or office hours) is prohibited. Unauthorized recording is unethical and may also be a violation of University policy and state law. Students requesting the use of assistive technology as an accommodation should contact Accessible NU:  https://www.northwestern.edu/accessiblenu/index.html