32% of spring 2021 undergraduate courses will have an in-person component, 68% remain fully online


32% of undergraduate courses will include an in-person component for Spring 2021 and 68% of total courses will continue entirely online, according to course listings on MyYU, marking an increase in in-person courses compared to fall 2020. The spring semester begins January 19 and ends May 14.

The courses for registration are marked online-live, online-asynchronous, mixed or face-to-face on the MyYU student portal. According to an email from President Ari Berman on Dec. 9, the blended classes will have students on campus and the faculty member “will meet on campus periodically to take classes,” and distance students will participate online. Face-to-face classes take place on campus only and are not available to distance students.

At Stern College for Women (SCW), 64% of its 389 total course offerings will be fully online, with 59% of the courses online live and 5% asynchronous. 30.5% of the courses will be given according to the mixed model and 5.5% of the courses will be face-to-face. 75% of the 191 courses at Yeshiva College (YC) will be conducted entirely online, with 71% being listed as live online and 4% as asynchronous online. 19% will be mixed lessons and 6% will be face-to-face. In contrast, 71% of YC courses and 85.5% of SCW courses were listed as “online” for fall 2020.

“The most important thing we have learned is to continuously monitor the student experience, listen to the students and do our best to incorporate their experience into our planning,” said provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Dr. Selma Botman. “We will continue to provide an excellent education to all of our students, whether they are distance or face to face.”

Of the 160 courses at Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB), 82.5% are online-live, 3.7% are asynchronous, 1.9% are mixed and 11.9% are face-to-face. 10.1% and 14.6% of SSSB courses are face-to-face on the Wilf and Beren campuses, respectively. This is a significant change from the fall semester, when SSSB delivered 100% of its courses online.

“Last spring, like the rest of the world, we focused on live online education,” SSSB Dean Dr. Noam Wasserman said during the Dec. 8 community call to YU. “For the upcoming semester at Sy Syms, we will maintain full student choice while adding more in-person options where possible. We are focusing on the Principles courses and similar courses within Sy Syms where we will be able to offer sections entirely in person, as we also have online sections that we can offer of the same course.

Undergraduate Torah Studies (UTS) offers 59% blended courses, 39% online and less than 1% face-to-face and chiourim this next semester. Within UTS, 26% of the Mazer Yeshiva program chiourim are live online and 74% are mixed, and 9% from the Stone Beit Midrash program chiourim are online and live and 91% are mixed. 58% of the courses at Isaac Breuer College are online, 39% are co-ed and 3% are face-to-face, while 42% of the courses at James Striar School are online and 57.6% are co-ed.

“Many, many of our rebbeim returned to campus this semester, and we hope to invite even more professors, even more rebbeim, back on campus next semester to give in person chiourimUTS Associate Dean Rabbi Yosef Kalinsky said during the community appeal. “Even those who will continue and who are already giving chiourim in person we have a Zoom option.

Torah studies courses for Beren students are included in the total number of SCW courses. “For the Torah classes, the students really wanted to have a face-to-face experience,” said Shoshana Schechter, associate dean for Torah studies at SCW. “I am delighted to say that for the spring semester, over 50% of our Torah classes will be in-person, that is, with an in-person component. Most of them are the mixed model.

Some students are looking forward to having exclusively in-person classes for the first time since YU closed in March. “I really enjoyed my in-person classes this semester and can’t wait to continue learning in person next semester! Shared Yael Laks (SCW ’22), a student who has lived on campus for fall 2020. “It can be difficult for teachers and for students who are at home to have a co-ed class, so I’m really excited about more consistent environment with my fully face-to-face classes next semester.

“I really appreciated that SSSB had all of their classes online this semester because it was more accommodating for everyone,” commented Sela Boord (SSSB ’22), who took her classes online last semester. “They also met the needs of the students for the next semester. I’m going back to campus next semester and I’m super excited to have two SSSB classes in person!

Other students felt limited by the fact that face-to-face classes were exclusively open to students who are in person. “It was very important for me to take biochemistry classes this semester to stay on track with my premedical schedule,” said Aaron Singer (YC ’22), who will continue e-learning for spring 2021. . “However, with the in-person lab only this semester, I will have to travel to the Heights once a week and possibly risk putting my family members in unnecessary danger.

Some students have expressed that the number of in-person courses offered for the spring semester is disappointing. “It’s disappointing that in-person classes seem to be limited to just a few departments. All of my classes this spring will still be online, ”said Elazar Abrahams (YC ’22). “YU has done a great job of keeping the campus safe, so unless there are real health issues, I don’t understand why some professors still refuse to teach face to face. ”

With more classes operating in person for the spring of 2021, more faculty have chosen to return to campus. “Currently I teach what is now called a blended course using one of the special tech rooms and it goes well, but the class discussions tend to be more stilted and it is sometimes difficult for the students. in person to hear the distant ones, “said Jill Katz, professor of archeology at SCW, who will be leading her face-to-face course this spring.” I decided to offer this course [exclusively] in person because I prefer to teach in person, and I know a lot of students who have returned to campus would like to take classes in person.

Photo caption: A classroom on the Wilf campus with socially distant offices
Photo credit: the commentator

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