We are looking forward to having you on campus over the next few weeks. Campus has been very quiet without you. I am very impressed by the effort that UMaine has put into making your return to campus as safe as it can be. If you have not already done so, please visit Black Bears Care at: https://umaine.edu/return/black-bears-care/ and sign the Black Bear Pact. There are multiple layers of protection including: COVID-19 tests, maintaining appropriate social distancing (6 ft minimum), wearing a face covering, washing your hands frequently, and monitoring your own health. This is what I would call an engineering approach to the problem, i.e., assessing each mode of failure and maximizing the safety of each while recognizing that no real world design is 100% safe. It is critical that you do your part to maximize your safety and that of your classmates, faculty, and staff.
College of Engineering faculty and staff have worked hard over the summer to adapt their course delivery methods to meet the challenges created by COVID-19. One of the major constraints, something that applies to all real world engineering problems, was the number of students who can be present in a classroom while maintaining 6-ft spacing. This has resulted in classes that will be delivered face-to-face, online course, remote (online synchronous), and a hybrid of face-to-face and online/remote. Many of your engineering labs will have a face-to-face component. In face-to-face classes and labs you will be expected to both maintain six ft spacing and wear a face covering. In some cases, you may also need to wear a face shield which will be provided in lab. For some classes and labs, you’ll be attending face-to-face on alternate class days. Your instructor will email you or post on Brightspace with instructions on when to come to class in-person. Please follow these instructions. Finally, please be sure to check your @maine.edu account regularly for the most up to date communications from the University and our College!
You are expected to attend your face-to-face class/lab meetings unless: (i) you have a chronic medical condition documented through UMaine Student Accessibility Services (https://umaine.edu/studentaccessibility/) that prevents you from attending face-to-face classes/labs; (ii) you have tested positive for COVID-19, have another illness, or otherwise feel unwell; and (iii) students who have been quarantined because of exposure to COVID-19 as documented by the University, a doctor or other medical professional. For situation (ii), if possible please obtain documentation from the University, doctor, or other medical professional and share with your instructor. If you can, please email the instructor before the missed class/lab. We recognize that situations (ii) and (iii) may develop rapidly, so it is OK to provide documentation to the instructor after the missed class/lab meeting. The bottom line is if you don’t feel well or are in quarantine don’t come to class. Get appropriate medical attention if you need it. If possible, get documentation and share it with your instructor. Your engineering instructor will work with you to meet the learning goals of the missed class/lab meeting(s).
Academic advising, requests for changes to your schedule, change of major, and other academic issues will largely be done virtually during the early part of the semester. Further instructions may be found at: https://engineering.umaine.edu/advising
Several weeks ago we held a Q&A session for returning students. You can watch it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3133&v=mmOwfGE0hDo&feature=emb_logo
See you very soon and remember to do your part to keep yourself and others safe!