UNCSA Announces Plans For Fall Semester

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Chancellor Brian Cole today announced that the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will resume on-campus coursework for the fall 2020 semester, with modifications to the academic calendar and instructional model developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The modifications will allow in-person instruction while maintaining the safety, health and well-being of the UNCSA community, and community at large, in consultation with public health and safety specialists and according to guidance and protocols provided by the UNC System.

Classes for undergraduate, graduate and high school students will begin on Monday, Aug. 17, and end on Thursday, Nov. 19, eliminating time off for Labor Day and fall break. This will allow for less student travel throughout the semester while maintaining an appropriate number of instructional days.

On-campus final exams and juries will be conducted Friday, Nov. 20, through Tuesday, Nov. 24, with finals continuing online following the Thanksgiving holiday.

UNCSA will adopt a hybrid instructional model for the fall semester, combining core in-person classes and experiences while also incorporating online instructional resources where possible, to best address health and safety for students, faculty and staff.

"The nature of the hands-on training we offer at UNCSA, as the only arts conservatory in the UNC System, is such that being together on campus is the ideal situation to achieve the learning outcomes we expect for our student-artists," Cole said. "However, safeguarding the health and well-being of our campus community remains our top priority. These modifications are a first step towards addressing the realities of continued life with COVID-19 in our campus environment."

UNCSA is working closely with state and local partners in health and public safety in finalizing its operational plans for the fall semester and beyond. The focus is to be able to offer the core elements of in-person training in a manner that is meaningful and relevant to the industry, while doing everything possible to protect the health of students, faculty and staff. Details about these protocols, as well as on-campus health and safety procedures such as screening, testing and quarantining, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Cole continued, "Our primary mission is to train our students for the arts and entertainment industry, and we are making adjustments to our instruction for this year that reflect the way that industry is adapting to the current reality. With guidance from industry as well as medical experts, our faculty and staff have been working diligently to develop our courses and experiences as we stay vigilant in protecting the health of our campus and the community at large.

"In these unprecedented times, I would argue that that world needs the inspiration and creative problem-solving abilities of artists now more than ever. The people of the UNCSA community are better prepared than anyone to meet these challenges, and our institution is ready to do so. While this is a complex situation, I also believe it is one that presents an opportunity for UNCSA to do what it does best - let our ingenuity, resourcefulness and imagination shine."

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