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
- July 1: Masking and distancing guidelines will be lifted on all Pace campuses for all vaccinated individuals who have uploaded their vaccine record
- August 1: Pace faculty, staff, and students must upload proof of vaccination to the Confidential Patient Portal by this date
- August 30: Elisabeth Haub School of Law fall semester begins
- September 8: Fall semester begins
- December 22: Fall 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, faculty, and staff 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 not fully vaccinated, you will be required to participate in community testing upon arrival to any Pace campus. Travelers from outside of the US should be sure to check the CDC travel advisory guidelines for additional country specific guidance. These are subject to change, so remember to check your Pace email and the Return to Campus website for updates.
- All students who are not fully vaccinated (including those who have not left the New York area) are recommended to receive a negative COVID-19 test result prior to accessing campus. Testing is a recommendation, not a requirement. The date of your test (not the results) should be no earlier than seven days prior to the first day you will be on campus. 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.
- For Fall 2021, all students who are not fully vaccinated (including those who have not left the New York area) must participate in community COVID-19 testing to maintain access to campus. All residential students who are not fully vaccinated at the time of move-in will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.
- 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 10 Days
- Have you followed country specific CDC travel guidance if returning from international travel?
- If not fully vaccinated, 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 are not fully vaccinated and 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 are Fully Vaccinated and have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you are not required to quarantine unless you become symptomatic. If you develop symptoms, isolate and contact University Healthcare immediately.
- 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 students, staff, and faculty will be required to complete a mandatory online training and education module prior to the start of the fall semester. The training module will be sent to you via your Pace email account prior to the start of the Fall 2021 semester.
Those who are not fully vaccinated will continue to be responsible for wearing masks and observing distance, in accordance with state and CDC guidance. Additionally, all members of the Pace Community will continue to have the option of wearing a mask for their own safety and comfort.
Masks are an additional step to help prevent people from getting and spreading COVID-19. They provide a barrier that keeps respiratory droplets from spreading. Wear a mask and take every day preventive actions in public settings.
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. If not fully vaccinated, face coverings must be worn at all times indoors, especially in common areas or when social distancing cannot be maintained. 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 fall with a focus on in-person, class delivery. All academic decisions and changes to the academic calendar will be made in consultation with the Deans, Faculty and Staff councils, and the student government, to the fullest extent possible.
Academic Calendar: For the 2021–2022 academic year, Pace is following a standard calendar with semester breaks. View this year's academic calendar (PDF).
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.
Note: The Delivery of Instruction/instructional modalities are being actively edited. Final information about the delivery mode of Fall 2021 classes will be available on Schedule Explorer after August 1.
For the Fall 2021 semester, courses will be offered in one of four instructional modalities:
- Fully on-campus (ONCMP): A course with only traditional in-person, on-campus class meetings.
- HyFlex (HYFLX): A hybrid course delivered simultaneously in-person and remotely, so that students have the flexibility to choose either format for any class meeting. Learn more about HyFlex classrooms and technology.
- Web-assisted (WA): A course with some in-person, on-campus class meetings and some online elements. This means that when you aren’t physically in the classroom, you will complete coursework online. Check with your instructor about the specific requirements and be sure to carefully review the course syllabus, once it’s available.
- Fully online: A course delivered fully remotely. It may be a synchronous course (SYNC), in which students and faculty will meet live online on a set schedule, or it may be an asynchronous course (ASYNC), in which all coursework is available online and can be accessed at any time. Some fully online courses may have both synchronous and asynchronous components (MIXAS).
You can find the modality of your Fall 2021 classes by going to Schedule Explorer. However, please note that academic programs are actively updating instructional modalities. Revisions should be completed by August 1. 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. Remote options are available for non-teaching activities such as office hours and meetings.
Social Distancing and Face Coverings in Classrooms, Labs, and Studio Spaces: With relaxed restrictions and increased vaccination rates on campus, all campus areas will return to original occupancy levels. Face coverings will be required for individuals that are not fully vaccinated and will be optional for vaccinated individuals in all classrooms. Pre-existing personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for the lab/research environment remain in place. Classrooms are outfitted with tempered glass barriers to protect both students and instructors.
All dining cafes on campus will follow CDC guidelines which recommends face coverings in group settings, including when picking up food for takeout. Unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear a face covering in the dining halls when not eating. Each dining café will have 100% occupancy 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:
- 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
- Select tables will include glass partitions
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 both live and 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.
- Face coverings will be required for unvaccinated individuals in common areas
- Common areas like hallways, elevators, stairwells, lounges, and offices will be outfitted with signage to assist people in socially distancing.
- In common area lounge spaces or in dining halls, we ask that no furniture be moved.
- Gym and fitness areas will be reopened.
Pace University Athletics plans to resume a full schedule of competition for all sports beginning with the Fall 2021 season, while preparing protocols focused on the health, safety, and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff. Pace will continue to monitor the evolving conditions and follow local, state, CDC, and NCAA guidance that may require adaptations as needed. The Goldstein Fitness Center on our Pleasantville Campus and the fitness centers on the NYC Campus will be open to Pace students, faculty, and staff beginning September 1.
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 for those who are not fully vaccinated. 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.
- 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.
- Residence Hall Guest Policy: As we begin the fall semester, only members of the Pace Community will be permitted in the residence halls or in any student's residence hall room. This means that only Pace students will be permitted to visit one another’s rooms and outside guests will not be permitted in the residence halls. The University will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and if circumstances allow, we may be able to reinstate guest privileges in phases.
- 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 restored 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). For issues related to billing, deadlines, or payment plans, please contact Student Accounts (email@example.com).
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 measure universally, and is viewed as a gesture of consideration for others.