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Graduate School Plans for Reopening: Fall 2020

Dear Graduate Students,

As I look ahead to the fall and the beginning of a new term, my first thoughts are about the extraordinary dedication and sense of purpose that brings you to prepare for professions that serve others in the deepest and most meaningful ways. The health, well-being, and nurturing of families and communities have always been built upon the work of educators and counselors. The world needs you now in ways that we could not have fully imagined a mere six months ago.

We have been working diligently across every unit at Lewis & Clark to create an environment that is both safe and conducive to learning. One of our most significant developments at the Graduate School involves blending in-person, hybrid, and online teaching within each of our programs to maximize the learning opportunities for all and to reduce the number of individuals on campus or in class at any given time. Our unexpected and challenging pivot to online learning at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak last spring taught us a great deal. We became more savvy users of technology by necessity and then found that we could use these tools to expand the range of our instructional activities and effectively meet the needs of learners under the circumstances we face.

Every program at the Graduate School is planning a robust schedule of in-person courses in the fall, supplemented by other courses that are delivered in a hybrid or online modality. We are excited to work with you in this innovative new environment. We are also very conscious of the fact that the technology skills you learn and practice in your classes will also be relevant, even required, in the professions that you enter after graduating. The increased utilization of technology in education and counseling is a given, and you will have clear evidence of your skills and abilities based on the new learning experiences we have integrated into your courses.

You will hear from faculty in your program soon with more details about fall classes and activities.

We have also worked hard on new policies and practices that will help us keep each other safe and healthy. Many of these policies and practices are mandated by Governor Kate Brown’s executive orders, which are themselves guided by the recommendations of the Oregon Health Authority and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They include wearing face masks in and outside the classroom, social distancing in all activities, enhanced cleaning protocols in all facilities, the wide availability and frequent use of disinfectant materials, and on-campus COVID-19 testing. In particular, you will notice that we have reduced the maximum occupancy of all classrooms and have arranged furniture to conform to the requirements for social distancing.

The world is indeed changing and we are changing with it. What will never change is our commitment to preparing you to be counselors and educators who help sustain families and communities, who open doors to new learning and ways to grow and thrive, and who help the world become a more just, inclusive, and caring place. We are here to guide and support you on this path. We will stand with you every step of the way.

Scott Fletcher

Safety Requirements Implemented Campus-Wide

  • Masks: Consistent with an executive order from Governor Kate Brown JD ’85, wearing masks or face coverings will be required in all public areas. This includes inside classrooms and all indoor spaces across campus. You will be provided with two masks upon your arrival to campus. You may also choose to wear a mask or face covering that you already own so long as it adheres to the health and safety requirements outlined by the state. Please have your mask or face covering with you at all times.
  • Cleaning: Common areas and classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected regularly. The campus cleaning schedule is being updated with enhanced disinfecting protocols and increased frequency in all campus buildings. Students will be responsible for disinfecting and sanitizing their work area before and after use. This includes attending class or using a common space for any activity such as studying or eating. Cleaning supplies certified to work against the COVID-19 virus will be provided in all common areas.
  • Social distancing: Classrooms will be set up so that students and faculty can maintain a minimum of six feet of social distance between one another. The same will be true in all buildings. Plexiglass barriers are being installed in areas that require them for your protection. You’ll follow marked routes for entering, exiting, and moving through buildings.
  • COVID-19 testing: Given the rapid changes regarding testing, we are still considering the best approach and timing for the testing of our community. We will finalize our plans later in the summer and communicate them to all. We will have more information for you soon on exactly how we will be asking you to fill out the initial health survey, as well as how to self-monitor your overall health while you are here, likely through some kind of checklist or app.
  • Water Fountains: Water fountains on campus will be available for bottle filling only.
  • Hand Washing and Respiratory Etiquette: All members of the LC Community are expected to perform appropriate hand hygiene upon their arrival to campus every day: washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol. Respiratory etiquette means covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow, or a tissue, especially when not wearing a mask. Tissues should be disposed of and hands washed or sanitized immediately.
  • HVAC Systems: Systems will be run to minimize recycled air circulation, and diffusers will be adjusted to not blow directly onto occupants. When feasible, windows should be opened to reduce recirculation of air and transmission of airborne pathogens

Program-Specific Information

While we are committed to offering in-person instruction, we are also prepared to use online formats as needed or as appropriate. If you become ill and need to self-isolate or quarantine, accommodations will be made for you to participate in distance learning. Program directors will be communicating directly with students via email as information becomes available. If you have additional questions about your program, please contact your program director.

Counseling, Therapy, and School Psychology Department
Educational Leadership Department
Teacher Education Department


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