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Fall 2020 Semester Educational Plan

The following overview of DTS’s plan for the Fall 2020 Semester is not meant to be exhaustive but rather a brief overview of the steps DTS is taking to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, faculty, and campus communities. All plans for Fall 2020 are subject to change as the current situation develops and in holding with all federal and state guidelines at the time.

Fall 2020 Term Start Date

The Fall 2020 term will start on Monday, August 24, 2020, as planned. Courses will not have a delayed start. Reading week is November 16–20 and the term ends Friday, December 18.  

Course Delivery Options

DTS is hopeful the Fall 2020 term will allow for a return to a traditional semester with in-person teaching and learning occurring at all DTS campuses and regional locations. Moreover, we have planned several levels of contingencies that would allow us to deliver the same quality education to our students in a variety of flexible ways in the event a traditional semester is not prudent. The following detailed plans are in place to address three possible scenarios this fall:

  1. A full return to campus—All courses that would normally be held in-person at our campuses and regional locations would continue to meet in that format with enhanced safety measures and the allowance for appropriate social distancing measures.
  2. A partial return to campus—In order to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community, campus capacities will be monitored and reduced as needed. This may involve any or all of the following steps:
    • Some courses may be moved to larger classrooms to enable appropriate social distancing for in-person meetings. 
    • Some courses may be able to operate in a staggered manner. 
    • Some courses may need to move online sooner depending on the campus location, classroom size, travel considerations, and professor needs. 
  3. A “virtual campus” model—Should the situation dictate, DTS would either start the semester entirely online, or once underway, pivot the semester to an entirely online educational format using video conferencing and online delivery. 

Additional Enhanced Safety Measures

By the start of the Fall 2020 term, DTS will have implemented the following safety measures: 

  • All DTS campuses and locations will follow all public health requirements and safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and their state and local government.
  • Additional hand sanitizing machines will be placed through DTS facilities.
  • DTS classrooms and facilities will undergo enhanced cleaning protocols and will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day.
  • Additional requirements (such as social distancing, the use of face coverings, etc.) may be enacted as outlined by federal, state, and local governments.  

Changes to Campus Events

  • Fall New Student Orientation will happen online for all campuses.
  • Chapel requirements are reduced to ensure smaller public gatherings.
  • Select events will serve boxed meals, rather than buffets.
  • The number of event attendees will be limited to meet the social distancing requirements of the space available.

Campuses and Regional Extension Sites

  • Each campus and teaching location will follow their state and local guidelines and the building guidelines in place during the fall term. If certain locations are under different guidelines or circumstances than the main Dallas campus, DTS will determine necessary changes and communicate them to students, faculty, and staff at those locations.

We are asking all students, staff, faculty, and members of our campus community to remain flexible during this unprecedented time. Our motto is to “Teach Truth. Love Well.” We will do our best to honor the educational and personal commitments we have made to our community.