Academic Instruction


2020 Fall Academic Calendar

This year, ECSU will start and finish the fall semester early in an effort to avoid a potential second wave of the virus in late fall/early winter.  This means students will not receive the normal breaks in their academic schedule for which they are typically accustomed. The first day of classes will be on August 11 and classes will be concluded by November 24. We will announce plans for New Student Convocation and Winter Commencement at a later date. Our full calendar can be viewed here.

There will be on-campus (face-to-face) instruction, hybrid (face-to-face and remote), and off-campus (online) instruction this fall in each academic department. Classes that will be delivered remotely are specifically identified on students’ schedules or can be found when they register for their classes. The majority of classes this year will be remote or offered in a hybrid format.
For on campus classes, Academic Affairs worked with each academic department to determine the ideal classroom configuration with appropriate spacing for all classrooms. Larger campus spaces that allow for physical distancing are also being considered. Classrooms will be reconfigured, or larger spaces will be used to promote social distancing for face-to-face instruction this fall. We ask that our campus community respects these classroom reconfigurations and do their part to social distance within each classroom.

We are confident that we will be able to provide effective instruction in the fall. We will communicate with our students, their families, the faculty, and the staff of the university on a regular basis and will share any new or important decisions that may impact operations and instruction.

Unfortunately, we also have to plan for an unexpected rise in COVID-19 cases on our campus that could impact our normal operations. Please be aware that if federal, state, or local authorities determine that the university should transition to remote learning, this shift will likely be made quickly. The university is prepared to deliver instruction effectively in a remote format and meet any technological challenges a student or faculty member may face if this transition happens. We ask for patience and support in advance if this becomes a reality.


Academic Support & Academic Advising
The use of technology will be paramount as we do our part to limit community spread. We do not anticipate any impact to these important services, other than the method in which they will be provided. Academic Support and Academic Advising will use social distancing guidelines as much as possible as they conduct their business with the goal of providing excellent customer service. To that end, students may be asked to access these services via a virtual meeting or appointment only. We encourage students to reach out to their professors and the academic support office to determine how technology can assist them with meeting their needs via a social distancing format.

Residential Housing


Residential Housing
Residence halls will operate normally, with a limited number of rooms held for residents who may have an immunocompromised condition. Roommates in residence halls will be treated as a single household and will not be required to wear a mask while inside their room. However, students should wear masks or face coverings in common areas and outside of their rooms where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Due to enrollment growth, we are expecting full occupancy in the residence halls this fall.
The following dates are important to note for students and staff living and working in the residence halls:
August 11 -  semester begins 
November 24 - semester endS  
Dining Services
Dining services will be provided to members of the campus community; however, the experience will be different to adhere to guidance from public health professionals. The following protocols will be implemented this year to keep students safe:
  • All self-serve stations will be eliminated.
  • Disposable cutlery and plates will be utilized.
  • There will be limited dining room seating.
  • Alternative seating locations will be identified in Ridley Student Complex and the Ridley University Center.
  • Dining associates will serve at food stations wearing PPE.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout dining areas.
  • Lines at food entrances and food stations will be measured off for 6-foot distance separations and monitors will actively monitor lines for compliance.
  • Restrooms will be cleaned frequently throughout the day.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be installed at cashier stands.
It is important to note that food options should not be negatively impacted. Students can expect that the variety of food options they have always experienced will remain unchanged.
Student Experience
This pandemic has certainly revealed one important thing. We have missed seeing and interacting with our Vikings! We are eagerly planning for their return and very excited about the engagement and services we will provide to our students this year. There is no doubt the way we interact with each other will be very different this year; however, we are prepared to make the necessary adjustments.
Our team is putting together a creative calendar of engagement events to keep students connected with each other. This calendar of events will be shared once it is completed. We are also prepared to ensure students have access to the services they need as they navigate our campus.
Student Health
This office stands ready to assist students with whatever health challenges they may have during this academic year. We even have several tools to diagnose them virtually, which prevents the risk of community spread. Like other medical offices, we will manage any face-to-face interactions via appointment only and limit non-emergency walk ins.
With respect to COVID-19, we coordinate almost daily with our local public health officials to ensure the campus has the most recent information to ensure students can navigate this campus safely. We will continue to monitor the regional impacts from COVID-19 and communicate important information to them, as needed. We encourage students to contact the Student Health Services office if they have any health concerns or questions at (252) 335-3267.
Counseling Services
This is no doubt a stressful time for all our community members. We encourage students to use our counseling services if they need to consult with a mental health professional. Like other health units, we can provide counseling services via Telehealth technology. If students prefer a face-to-face counseling session, this can be accomplished in an area where distancing guidelines and mask guidelines will be followed.
Financial Aid, Student Accounts, & the Department of University Studies
Prior to returning to campus, we strongly encourage students to contact these offices to get cleared to start the fall semester. Students who wait to get cleared the week before or during classes will experience long wait times due to the implementation of health and safety guidelines. Each of these offices will work with students over the next few weeks to ensure they receive clearance to start the fall semester.
Students may contact each office using the following information: 
Telephone: 252-335-3503, 252-335-2985; Email:
Telephone: 252-335-3283 | Fax: 252.335.3716 | Email:
Telephone: 252-335-3471 | Fax: 252-335-3022 
Students who have not been cleared prior to reporting to campus will be asked to contact each department where representatives are available via phone and Zoom to help them get cleared to attend classes in the fall.  Residence hall move-in is by appointment only. If students wait to get cleared on campus around the first day of classes, they may experience a delayed move-in time as we try to ensure we are distancing during the move-in process.