Planning for the Fall 2021 Semester
Pace’s COVID-19 Task Force, alongside faculty and University administration, are working toward a Fall 2021 semester that looks and feels closer to normal.
Please stay tuned to your Pace email and this website for the latest updates and guidelines based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York State Department of Health, and our local health departments.
Detailed below is the information you need to know about preparing to come back, monitoring and testing, face covering and social distancing requirements, arrangements for academic life, plans for residential housing, and more. It’s up to each of us and we know you’ll do your part to ensure the safety of our Pace Community.
- Key Dates for Students
- Vaccine Information for Students
- Monitoring and Testing
- Academic, Campus, and Residential Life
- Important Information
- Guiding Principles
- Campus Health and Safety Feedback
- January 8: All residential students must complete the Spring Move-In Registration Form by 9:00 a.m. to select a move-in date and quarantine option, if applicable.
- January 19, 20, and 21: Residential students begin the move-in process, provided their quarantine requirements have been met, if applicable.
- January 23: Spring Semester begins with two weeks of remote classes
- February 8: In-person classes begin
- May 1: Spring semester ends
To facilitate this accelerated schedule classes will be held on some previously scheduled holidays. Accommodations will be made for individual religious observances. See the updated academic calendar (PDF).
To ensure that we’ll be able to reopen our campuses as planned, we will require all students coming to campus to be vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning with the Fall 2021 semester. This includes both residential and commuter students who come to campus, except for those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons. Fully online students will not be subject to this requirement. Find a vaccination center near you.
If you are coming from outside of New York State, please be sure to check New York State’s travel advisory guidelines. These are subject to change, so remember to check your Pace email and the Return to Campus website for updates.
- When you return for the spring semester, all students (including those who have not left the New York area) will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result in order to access campus. The date of your test (not the results) must be no earlier than seven days prior to the first day you will be on campus. Students, faculty, and staff should upload their own COVID-19 test results into Pace's confidential Patient Portal. The information you provide is verified and approved by a health administrator who can track compliance or lack of compliance and report back through secure messaging. For instructions about how to upload your test results to the Patient Portal, please review these easy-to-follow instructions (PDF). Low-cost or free testing is increasingly available at pharmacies and walk-in clinics, as well as offered by public health departments in some locations, including New York. Find a testing location near you.
- New York State prohibits anyone from entering New York from outside of NY, NJ, PA, CT, VT, or MA if they have not tested negative for COVID-19 within the three days prior to their arrival in New York. Students who receive a positive test result will not be able to travel to New York or to campus.
- All students who, in the 14 days prior to returning to campus for Spring 2021, have spent time in any location other than NY, NJ, PA, CT, VT, or MA will be required to quarantine upon their arrival in New York. Please note that we will provide a quarantine option for residential students, as outlined below, but students may choose to quarantine on their own (at their own expense), as long as they adhere to New York State guidelines.
- All students will be required to complete a screening questionnaire related to symptoms, travel, and exposures every day they are physically on campus. This includes residential students every day they are on campus and commuter students on days they visit campus. The screening questionnaire is available to everyone in the Pace Community via the PaceSafe mobile app. If you do not have a smartphone and are unable to use the PaceSafe app, please access our web-based daily health questionnaire.
- Students who do not complete the required screening questionnaire will not be permitted on campus. Residential students who do not complete 3 consecutive days of screening will be referred to the Dean for Students Office for student conduct. In the screening questionnaire, you can expect to answer several questions daily, including:
- Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Have you experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 Days
- Have returned to New York from any state other than New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, or any international destination requiring quarantine as identified by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 205.2?
- Have you been in close contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- All on-campus members of the Pace Community, on days they are on campus, will be required to monitor their health, check their temperature, and complete the screening tool's questionnaire daily once the campus reopens. The University will monitor and review responses on a regular basis.
- Residential students must complete the screening tool’s questionnaire daily, even if they do not plan on leaving their residence hall room.
- Be prepared to show an approved status after completing the screening to Security upon entering campus buildings.
- Stay in if you do not feel well, have a fever, or do not pass your daily health self-assessment. Contact University Health Care if you are experiencing symptoms.
Preventing The Spread Of COVID-19
While we all must do our part to prevent the spread of the virus, if you do become ill or are exposed to someone who is ill, here is what you need to know as a member of the University community:
- If You Have Symptoms: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you must report your symptoms through the PaceSafe mobile screening app or directly to University Health Care. Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will be directed to seek medical care and obtain a COVID-19 test. To protect your privacy, NEVER email any health care information. You must upload any test results or other private health care information through the University Health Care’s secure patient portal.
- If You Have Been Exposed: If you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must report that you’ve had close contact through the PaceSafe mobile screening app or directly to University Health Care. To protect your privacy, NEVER email any health care information about your health or anyone else’s health. You must upload any test results or other private health care information through the University Health Care’s secure patient portal.
- The University Health Care staff will work with the Coronavirus Coordination Officer to determine if you may continue to engage in campus life without being quarantined.
- Please note that any exposed asymptomatic students who are permitted to continue engaging in campus life will be required to undertake standard precautions, including regular monitoring for symptoms and temperature, required face covering at all times, and appropriate social distancing.
- If You Test Positive: If you test positive for COVID-19, you are required to inform University Health Care immediately, upload test results to University Health Care’s secure patient portal, and cooperate with all contact tracing efforts, which will include providing information about contact with other members of the Pace Community. To protect your privacy, NEVER email any health care information about your health or anyone else’s health. You must upload any test results or other private health care information through the University Health Care’s secure patient portal.
- You may be required to self-isolate, on or off-campus, depending on your status as a residential or commuter student. If you live in Pace’s residence halls, your suitemates or roommates will be required to self-quarantine as well.
- Pace’s Coronavirus Coordination Officer and University Health Care will work with New York State and local health department contact tracing team.
- Following contact tracing, Pace’s Coronavirus Coordination Officer and University Health Care will notify faculty, staff, students, or visitors, as necessary and appropriate, about possible exposure.
- Pace’s custodial staff will close off areas where you may have spent any significant time, including classrooms, bathrooms, etc., so that they may begin the cleaning and disinfection process. This could take 24–48 hours.
- Depending on where you have been, it may be necessary to close off a room, a floor and/or building until a time when it can be properly sanitized.
All members of the Pace Community will be required to complete a mandatory online training and education module prior to the start of the spring semester. The training module will be sent to you via your Pace email account.
Appropriate use of face coverings is critical in minimizing the risk of transmission to others near you. Remember, a face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. Face coverings must be worn at all times, especially in common areas or when social distancing cannot be maintained. In general, N95 respirators and medical grade masks are reserved for health care workers. For more information about face coverings, please see our Campus Health and Safety page.
Pace’s commitment to providing a world class education for all our students continues this spring with planning for in-person, remote, and hybrid learning modalities. All academic decisions will be made in consultation with the Deans, Faculty and Staff councils, and the student government, to the fullest extent possible.
Academic Calendar: In consultation with the appropriate public health authorities, Pace University has altered the 2020–2021 academic calendar to provide the best opportunity for our students to successfully complete their spring semester with as little possibility for disruption as possible. By beginning the spring semester with online classes for the first two weeks for the semester and removing spring break, this provides the Pace Community with the greatest flexibility for our students and faculty during these extraordinary times.
Delivery of Instruction: Pace University is known for our commitment to providing student-centered learning experiences with a focus on in-person instruction and engagement. We are planning to continue this commitment in Fall 2021 in a way that prioritizes and protects the health of our vibrant community of students, faculty, and staff.
For the Fall 2021 semester, courses will be offered in one of four instructional modalities:
- Fully on-campus: A course with only traditional in-person, on-campus class meetings. Due to capacity restrictions and social distance requirements, enrollment in these fully on-campus courses will be limited.
- HyFlex: A hybrid course delivered simultaneously in-person and remotely, so that students have the flexibility to choose either format for any class meeting, subject to classroom capacity restrictions. Learn more about HyFlex classrooms and technology.
- Web-assisted: A course with some in-person, on-campus class meetings and some online elements.
- Fully online: A course delivered fully remotely. It may be a synchronous course, in which students and faculty will meet live online on a set schedule, or it may be an asynchronous course, in which all coursework is available online and can be accessed at any time. Some fully online courses may have synchronous and asynchronous components.
This mix of modalities will protect the health of our students, faculty, and staff by reducing density on campus, preventing large gatherings, and freeing up on-campus space for those courses that benefit from in-person meetings. Courses in which instruction and assessment cannot happen virtually (e.g., performance courses, labs, and clinical experiences) will have priority for classroom space.
For courses that will meet in-person, classrooms have been reconfigured to accommodate social distancing. Some larger classes will be moved to larger spaces, such as gymnasiums or auditoriums, to accommodate more students in the classroom or other needs. We’ll also add markings to classrooms to delineate appropriate distancing.
Remote options will be used for non-teaching activities such as office hours and meetings. We know that fieldwork, clinical experiences, internships, and other experiential learning are important elements of our academic fabric. The University’s approach to these experiences will be guided by public health guidelines, accreditation requirements, and academic norms associated with the different disciplines.
Faculty are prepared to accommodate students who are physically unable to return to campus by making all courses fully accessible—to the extent possible—via asynchronous learning opportunities.
Classrooms: Until restrictions are relaxed, classrooms will be limited to no more than 25% of maximum occupancy. The layouts of many classrooms have been altered to accommodate six feet of social distance between each person, including the instructor. Faculty should maintain six feet of social distance from students while in classrooms. Face coverings will be required in all classrooms. Additionally, classrooms will be outfitted with tempered glass barriers to protect both students and instructors. In some larger spaces, like auditoriums and gymnasiums, we may be able to exceed 25% occupancy while still ensuring six feet of distance.
Lab and Studio Space: Until restrictions are relaxed, classrooms will be limited to no more than 25% of maximum occupancy. Pre-existing personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for the lab/research environment remain in place. Otherwise, while in the laboratory, trainees, faculty, and staff are required to wear a surgical face mask when working with others. For more information about lab and research areas, please visit our Research page.
All students visiting a dining café on campus will be required to wear a face covering, including when picking-up food for takeout. Each dining café will have significantly reduced occupancy, with limited in-house seating. Seating will not be available for patrons not actively dining, or when the café is closed for meals. Mobile ordering and pickup stations will be available, with the use of contactless payment where possible. The following guidelines will be practiced in each dining hall:
- Full-service model only, with the elimination of self-service food stations
- Café tables will be spaced to accommodate six feet of social distance between diners
- Stations will be set up in the café to allow for safe flow of patrons in the café
- Sanitation of all station counters and common areas will be done every 30 minutes
- Hand-sanitizing stations will be in and around the café
For complete information regarding dining on campus, please visit the Campus Dining website.
You will continue to have access to academic advising, financial aid services, health services, career services, mental health services, and many others. If necessary, we are ready to offer these and other services virtually as we have done during our remote period during previous semesters.
Common Areas: We’ve all made adjustments to how we exist and live in our communities and Pace is no different. Learn more about existing in spaces around campus including classrooms, common areas, offices, residence halls, and more. Reduced capacity plans have been developed for all Pace spaces and in areas that social distancing cannot be maintained, Pace has installed temporary partitions or barriers.
- Face coverings will be required for everyone in common areas
- Common areas like hallways, elevators, stairwells, lounges, and offices will be outfitted with signage to assist people in socially distancing.
- Directional traffic flow will be established via one-way stairwells, hallways, in-room movement, and entrance/exits, where possible. Signage will provide clear direction.
- In common area lounge spaces or in dining halls, we ask that no furniture be moved.
- Gym and fitness areas will remain closed until restrictions are lifted.
The Northeast-10 Conference Council of Presidents has decided not to conduct formal regular season and championship competition for fall and winter sports programs. While the NE10 has made this decision, Pace will still strive to provide competitive opportunities for field hockey, women's soccer, cross country and volleyball during the Spring 2021 semester to the degree that the conditions warrant. With respect to traditional spring sports (baseball, softball, men's and women's lacrosse), the conference remains unanimously committed to supporting a return to play for NE10 competition. Read the statement from Pace's Director of Athletics Mark Brown. The Goldstein Fitness Center on our Pleasantville Campus will open with limited, pre-scheduled occupancy for Pace students beginning February 8. Fitness centers on the NYC Campus will be closed to allow for Pace Performing Arts academic usage.
During the pandemic, being a commuter student comes with its own opportunities and challenges. Whether you take public transportation or have your own vehicle, your commute may look very different this semester. For our commuter students who rely upon the Pace campus shuttle, Pace will continue to operate its campus shuttle with revised procedures, which will include limiting capacity to 50% and staggering passengers to every other row. Shuttles will be equipped with protective barriers between driver and passengers and drivers and passengers will be required to wear face coverings at all times during transport. Pace will provide hand sanitizer and/or disinfectant wipes inside the shuttle and also install hand sanitizing stations at pick-up locations. For commuter students who are taking in-person classes, the common spaces may look different from last year as New York State requires all public spaces reduce the maximum capacity, however, please be assured that there will be spaces on campus for you to study or relax between classes.
Wherever possible, the Office of Residential Life and Housing will encourage physical distancing. Residential students can continue to expect reduced occupancy in certain areas and staggered use of shared spaces (e.g., laundry facilities, shared bathrooms, kitchenettes). In accordance with current guidelines from health officials, exercise rooms in residence halls will be closed and activities and sports (e.g., basketball, chess) that require close contact will be prohibited. Pace’s custodial staff will ensure that shared spaces (e.g., laundry facilities, elevators, shared kitchens, lobby space) and frequently touched surfaces are cleaned using EPA-registered disinfectant more than once a day. Pace’s Facilities team will maintain a cleaning log relating to these common areas. Students are still responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their personal space including bathroom and kitchenette areas in suite-style or townhouse residence halls.
- The Family Unit: We have adopted the Family Unit approach to room occupancy. This approach identifies all students who live in one shared unit as a Family Unit, meaning that within their shared space they do not need to follow physical distancing guidelines (no face coverings, no need to maintain six feet of distance). It is understood that students in this arrangement share exposure and are therefore responsible to one another to protect the integrity of their shared space by ensuring that social distancing and other protective measures are followed whenever they are outside the room. This also means that if one student in the room is identified as being in need of quarantine, all members of the room will be quarantined, together.
- Occupancy in the Residence Halls: We have taken measures to reduce density in the residence halls. The purpose of this is not only to reduce the numbers of students sharing a single room, but also to reduce the numbers of students sharing common areas, elevators, entryways, etc.
- Community Bathrooms: In residence halls where there are community bathrooms, students will, in many cases, be assigned a specific bathroom to use, and may even be assigned a specific sink, shower stall, and toilet as a strategy to limit cross contact. In these cases, we are committed to ensuring that you will have access to facilities consistent with your gender identity, or to an all gender facility upon request.
- Residence Hall Guest Policy: As we begin the spring semester, there will be NO GUESTS permitted in the residence halls or in any student’s residence hall room. This means that even students from other rooms in the same building, even on the
same floor, will not be permitted to visit one another’s rooms. The University will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and if circumstances allow, we may be able to reinstate guest privileges in phases, but you must understand that for the foreseeable future, there will be no guests in the residence halls or in residents' rooms.
- The Housing Fee Adjustment Policy: The complete Dormitory Credit Policy Change on Student Contract (PDF) is available for you to review. It explains the way credits for housing fees will be applied in the event that the University is forced to close the residence halls for any reason.
- Mail Services: Mail Services has temporarily altered its hours of operation and method of mail and package delivery. Please go to the Mail Services website for information on mail distribution and retrieval.
Accommodations and Students With Medical Issues
Accommodations for Students: Pace will offer accommodations to students adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic wherever possible. Such accommodations might include special provision of financial aid, extension of deadlines related to disruption of research or classroom activities or leaves of absence relating to prolonged illness or bereavement. For academic issues, students should consult with their academic advisor prior to requesting a Leave of Absence from the Office of the Registrar (help.pace.edu). For more information or to request an accommodation on financial matters including consideration for the Pace Cares Fund, internal grants or endowed scholarships, please contact the Financial Aid Office (email@example.com). For issues related to billing, deadlines, or payment plans, please contact Student Accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Students with Medical Issues: Students with medical issues related to COVID-19, including potential increased vulnerability to the virus, may seek accommodations through Student Accessibility Services. Remote learning and other accommodations may be explored, depending on the circumstances.
Campus Safety And Security
Pace is committed to providing a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. To the extent that protocols are not followed by any individual on campus, Pace reserves the right to take disciplinary action against students, faculty, and staff, as well as removing any visitor from the premises. These actions may involve Student Life, Human Resources, and Safety and Security.
- To the extent that Pace allows outside individuals onto campus for events such as lectures, conferences, or athletics events, Safety and Security shall be responsible for monitoring/enforcing the capacity limits and other proper protocols, such as social distancing.
- Safety and Security will ask all visitors prior to entry to complete an online screening questionnaire.
- On at least a weekly basis, Emergency Management shall review activities from the prior week and along with Safety and Security, and University Health Care, assess any areas in need of new or increased protocols to ensure a safe environment.
Non-Discrimination And Mutual Support
Pace University is committed to maintaining an educational, working, and living environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and where every member can thrive. It is essential that we all be supportive, respectful, and inclusive of the members of our community who are affected by this global issue.
In the wake of this outbreak, several universities have experienced the targeting and exclusion of Chinese individuals, individuals perceived to be Chinese, and individuals recently returned from China due to fear and misinformation about the virus.
If you see someone wearing a face covering, do not assume that the individual wearing it has symptoms or is at risk. Wearing a face covering is a widespread preventive habit in several countries and is viewed as a gesture of consideration for others.