Almost half of the classes offered this fall by the University of Tennessee at Martin will include an in-person component as part of the university’s reentry plan. On May 6, University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd announced that all UT campuses would reopen this fall with in-person classes as UT continues to address operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UT Martin will begin classes Aug. 17 at the main campus and five centers in Jackson, Parsons, Ripley, Selmer and Somerville, and all classes will end by Thanksgiving. The condensed semester combination of online, hybrid and in-person classes is designed to curb travel to and from the main campus and five centers to minimize spread of the COVID-19 virus. Students should check their individual schedules to verify the course-delivery method for each class.
In addition to the earlier start date, the semester will include classes on Labor Day and no fall break. Classes will end Tuesday, Nov. 24, and final exams will be administered the week following Thanksgiving. A study day for final exams will be observed Monday, Nov. 30, followed by online exams to close the semester. Students will not return to the main campus or centers following the Thanksgiving holiday. Plans for fall move-out and fall commencement are being developed.
For courses that have an in-person component, faculty members are aligning course delivery with recommended spacing and safety measures. For example, hybrid classes can be offered in several ways, such as dividing a class of 30 or fewer students into subgroups and alternating in-person and online sessions. Faculty members are participating in a series of summer online teaching methodology workshops offered by the university to better prepare for online instruction.
“Each one of us wants to … maximize the core UTM educational experience, which is based on face-to-face instruction, interaction and mentoring,” said Dr. Philip Acree Cavalier, the university’s chief academic officer, in a recent email to faculty members. “Anything we can do to contribute to that work during this uncertain period will ultimately benefit our students.”
All university safety measures for fall reentry follow guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including required wearing of masks by all who are on the main campus or at the five centers, enhanced cleaning procedures and campus visitation restrictions. Fall move-in to residence halls will feature a staggered schedule with residents assigned a date between July 27 and Aug. 12 to minimize person-to-person contact. Residents are encouraged to return home after completing their move-in and may return to campus starting Aug. 13.
UT Martin Summer Orientation and Registration and Transfer Orientation sessions in preparation for fall semester will be held virtually as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Remaining SOAR sessions are July 10 and 28, and Aug. 7. The remaining transfer orientation session is July 16.
Additional UT Martin fall semester information is available by calling the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 731-881-7020 or the Office of Graduate Studies at 731-881-7012. Follow the latest information about COVID-19 at www.utm.edu/coronavirus.