Pratt is committed, as always, to delivering a world-class education with our renowned faculty. There are two options for attending Pratt. One is fully online. With the other, roughly 70% of courses will be offered fully online, while 30% will occur in a hybrid format, meeting sometimes online and sometimes in person. These percentages will vary by course and degree program. More information about the academic curriculum is available online.
All students, whether they join us in New York City or study remotely, will be able to make full-time progress toward their degrees. Pratt's degree programs educate students in a wide range of fields and ensure that students achieve the outcomes specific to their fields. Achieving those outcomes is ultimately what it takes to complete a degree, and there can be more than one path to that end.
Schools, departments, and individual faculty have been working through the year to ensure that all of the course offerings will be of the highest quality in all modes of delivery. No matter where or how our students choose to take courses or access services, they will be supported by our dedicated and distinguished faculty and staff, and the enhanced robust technology needed to learn and create. We are committed to providing an excellent and equitable Pratt educational experience online, as well as safely in hybrid courses where faculty and staff will use campus facilities, albeit in a highly monitored, time-limited, and regulated way.
Overall, the education we offer is as excellent as ever. The form in which we offer it is changing, becoming (of necessity) more flexible, and we are committed to being flexible as we support our students through their years at Pratt and to graduation.
Relying on all that we have learned from this year, Pratt is planning to welcome new and continuing students, staff, and faculty back to our campuses for the Fall 2021 semester, to learn and engage in campus life in a safe and meaningful way. With the well-being of our students and the vibrancy of our campuses at the heart of our planning, we look forward to being back in person as much as possible.
Building upon what we put in place this past year, classrooms and offices will be configured to maintain physical distance, schedules and remote opportunities will help stagger density, and we will once again utilize the most up-to-date safety protocols to reduce risk of transmission of the COVID virus.
Planning for the fall will continue throughout the spring and summer months. As departments complete fall course schedules, the Provost’s Office will continue to work with Facilities Management and the Registrar’s Office to optimize space use and, when needed, to identify new spaces in which courses can be offered. The Provost’s Office will also work with IT to survey school and department needs and to roll out an updated classroom technology plan and implementation strategy in preparation for the fall.
As we continue to navigate the current semester shaped once again by the pandemic, we see one another creating and accomplishing substantial work with much greater proficiency than we could have imagined last year at this time. Even still, just as we faced each new and unexpected challenge in 2020, this year continues to introduce its own challenges, such as new variants of the virus and uneven vaccine distribution, requiring each of us to remain vigilant, flexible, and resilient as we face an immediate future that is as uncertain as it is hopeful.
Students can expect that they will have a course load that includes a variety of modalities, with an emphasis on delivering as much in-person instruction as possible to students who are able to access the campuses. Courses will be offered in a blend of three basic modalities to meet student and curricular needs. These modalities include:
- in person
- fully remote
- hybrid (a mixture of online and in person)
Emphasis will be placed on matching learning goals to modalities: learning that is best suited to in-person instruction will be held in person to the extent possible. Remote instruction options will remain available for the fall to students who are unable to attend in person, including international students. Course schedules will be made available to continuing students on March 22.
While students’ educational experience will continue to be of high quality and the learning goals for courses be what they have always been, students and their families must be aware that the overall in-person social experience will be radically different and dramatically constrained in comparison to our previous experiences.
The in-person components of hybrid courses, in order to meet health and safety standards, will involve physical distancing, and limited numbers of students in any given space, with regulated and limited access to specialized equipment and facilities, including studios and labs. We will not be able to offer long stays and unlimited access to studios as we normally would.
For students who decide to shift their study entirely online, we will work with them to ensure that their semester’s work is satisfying and advances their progress toward their degree.
Through the Student Self-Service Portal, students are able to learn which courses have been designated for in-person or hybrid delivery, and will be able to adjust their schedule as needed.
New undergraduate students will be registered by Undergraduate Advisement during July. New graduate students will register through their programs.
The Spring 2021 semester will begin as indicated in the Academic Calendar, on Tuesday, January 19; and will end as scheduled on Tuesday, May 11. Hybrid classes can begin meeting in person on or after February 1.
There will need to be one significant change made to the Spring semester, regarding Spring Break. We cannot accommodate a weeklong Spring Break of risk-prone travels and returns to campus. We know how important opportunities for rest and recuperation are during the long stretch of the Spring semester. So instead of the week of Spring Break, previously scheduled for March 15-21, we have built into the Spring schedule six wellness days replacing Spring Break.
Specifically, the following dates have been added to the Spring Academic Calendar to replace Spring Break:
Monday, March 15: Wellness Day - No Classes
Tuesday–Thursday, March 23–25: Wellness Days - No Classes
Friday–Saturday, April 2–3: Wellness Days - No Classes
This will provide all students and faculty shorter breaks from the weekly March of class meetings, and will help to discourage travel that could compromise campus safety. Faculty should organize their Spring course syllabi to skip a week in accordance with the dates just described.