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Graduate & Continuing Studies

WhitworthFLEX Approach

Whitworth is known and valued for providing face-to-face, relational education to students. This is why the faculty has committed to maximizing in-person instruction through the innovative WhitworthFLEX approach, which emphasizes in-person, hybrid and modular course designs. This approach will allow students to engage with class activities and assignments no matter their individual circumstances. The specific implications of this approach will depend upon class size, a faculty member's ability to be in the classroom, and other particular needs of the course or discipline. Other details include:

  • Some faculty members who fall into high-risk categories will be approved to teach their entire course using distance methods.
  • Students who for health reasons need to access all of their course content online will be able to do so.
  • Because of classroom capacity constraints, many classes will employ a hybrid approach. For example, this may entail half of the class meeting in person on Tuesday and the other half of the class meeting in person on Thursday, while the half not attending class will be engaged remotely or with other components of the course's curriculum.
  • With some graduate and continuing studies programs requiring in-person experiences such as clinical hours, student teaching or field placements to meet accreditation or certification requirements, it’s important to stay in touch with program directors for individual program and course expectations.
  • Professors have participated in intensive summer training to learn how to maximize student-faculty interaction and positive learning outcomes using any form of instruction.
  • Relationships will remain central to the Whitworth educational experience. Students will continue to have access to one-on-one appointments with all of their instructors and advisors.
  • Should the public health situation deteriorate such that all in-person classes are suspended for a period of time, faculty will be prepared to deliver course content exclusively online.
  • Decisions about what modes of instruction will be available in future terms will be made closer to those dates when more information is known.
  • Tuition and fees will cover the added cost of these adjustments and flexibility, including the university's investments in technology upgrades, surveillance testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine spaces, and other needs. No tuition or fee refunds beyond the university's stated tuition refund schedule will be given based upon how courses are completed.

Classrooms & Instruction

We hope to continue face-to-face learning with as many students physically present as safely possible in our classrooms, while adhering to physical distancing guidelines and classroom capacity limits.

What does the FLEX classroom look like?

  • Students who attend face-to-face classes must bring a mask and wear it all times. Students who refuse to wear masks in class without an approved medical exception will not be permitted to attend in-person classes.
  • Students who attend face-to-face classes will be asked to sit in the same seat for the duration of the course; instructors will be required to take attendance for each class meeting.
  • Students who do not attend face-to-face would participate remotely, which would likely include livestream synchronous instruction via tools like Zoom or WebEx.
  • All individuals must practice physical distancing and try to remain at least 6 feet apart.
  • Classroom tables and chairs will be sanitized with disinfectant before and after class. Hand sanitizer will be readily available for frequent use.
  • Instructors will maintain health and safety protocols while maximizing their interactive delivery of class content. Each instructor will be required to wear a mask while working in close proximity to students, and to otherwise maintain 6 feet of distance from others at minimum. We recognize that facial expression and nonverbal cues are in many cases essential to delivering content; alternative protective methods such as plexiglass barriers and/or face shields will be made available to instructors as needed.
  • If at any point during the course a student who is attending class on campus becomes ill or exposed to COVID-19, the student should notify the instructor and continue the course online until symptoms have resolved and the required self-isolation period is completed.

FAQs for Continuing Studies Students

What will it look like on campus?

Students attending classes on campus will be required to wear a mask when in hallways and classrooms, according to state regulations. Classrooms will be organized differently where students are spaced according to health district guidelines. Surfaces will be disinfected before and after each class meeting. Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies will be available in each classroom. We ask that you please pick your seat the first day of class, then continue to sit in the same seat for the entirety of the session, for contact tracing purposes.

Will we return to online instruction if COVID cases increase?

With WhitworthFLEX, each course is designed to be flexible enough to switch to online as needed, whether there is an outbreak of cases, or if your instructor gets sick. If necessary, we will transition back to remote instruction, but we are currently putting the necessary precautions in place to avoid this if at all possible.

How will I get my textbooks?

Communications about textbooks will go out via email 2-3 weeks before each new session. If you are attending in person, your textbooks will be given to you the first class meeting, as they traditionally have been delivered. If you are attending remotely, you will need to make arrangements to come to campus to pick up your textbooks from the Continuing Studies office during our operating hours before the first night of class.

We ask that you please keep track of your additional workshop and directed reading credits so we can get you all of your available books at one time.

What if I completed my survey already, but I changed my mind?

If you change your mind before the course begins, please email your advisor and let them know of your change. They can notify your instructor and make the necessary changes in the system.

If you change your mind during the course, please email your advisor AND instructor. We will do what we can to accommodate any request, we just need clear communication to both your advisor and instructor.

What if I get sick?

Please notify the COVID Care Team directly via if you have been exposed, are being tested for or are diagnosed with COVID. If you have clear COVID symptoms, we ask that you self-isolate right away and resume the course in the online format.
If you get seriously ill, work with your advisor and instructor to make the best plan for you. If it is early into a course, we can withdraw you from the course. If it is late in the course, we can look into other options. Please reference the Academic Calendar and Catalog for deadlines and academic policies.