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Flex Learning in the 2021 Fall Term

Dear members of the Emerson community,

I am writing to provide you with timely and important information in anticipation of the 2021 Fall Term. 

As you may have read, some national public health officials and infectious disease experts have predicted that a very large proportion of the U.S. population may be vaccinated by the end of the summer or early fall, so that we will achieve or approach so-called “herd immunity.”

As we begin to forecast teaching and learning for the Fall Term, our current planning is that we will open the Fall Term with our One Emerson Flex Learning. However, if public health and government guidance permit and vaccines are widespread, we may be able to shift our Flex Learning model, which is rooted in modified in-person learning, to fully in-person teaching and learning at the beginning or during the Fall Term. We believe it is more prudent to plan for One Emerson Flex Learning and convert to full in-person teaching and learning, if conditions permit us to do so, than the reverse, which would lead to disappointment.

Continuing Flex Learning will enable the College to deliver a robust, in-person educational experience while also prioritizing the health and safety of our community.

We will continue to de-densify classrooms, housing and other campus spaces in accordance with public health, state, and city-wide guidance.

We will continue to provide on-campus educational and co-curricular experiences as part of an academic calendar that will include scheduled holidays and breaks and the return of an optional, fully-online winter session.

We will provide regular and timely details throughout the spring and summer. Students can expect outreach in the coming weeks about their plans for Flex or online learning, as well as information on advising in preparation for registration.

The Dean of the Graduate School will work with the Graduate Program Directors and Department Chairs to determine a program-specific approach for graduate course modality. The Speech@Emerson and Digital Marketing & Digital Analytics (DMDA) programs will follow their own calendars.

Information about the Fall Term re-openings of the Emerson Los Angeles campus, the Kasteel Well campus, and study abroad will be forthcoming later in the Spring Term.

I know that all of us remain committed to ensuring the health and safety of our entire community. Thank you for your continued patience as we follow the science and adapt our Flex plan as we learn more.

Lee Pelton

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