Reopening Update for Continuing Students and Families

July 16, 2020

Dear Continuing Seattle University Student and Family:

I write with an update as we prepare to begin fall quarter and the new academic year within the extraordinarily difficult and uncertain circumstances of 2020. 

At Seattle University, we recognize the challenges of our public health and social context are impacting our students in many different ways and we are committed to helping you continue your Redhawk education in a way that meets your needs.  This includes, outside of disciplines requiring clinical, laboratory or performance-based learning, the opportunity to take your fall quarter classes virtually should you need or prefer to do so.   

You are likely now making key practical decisions in preparation for the upcoming year. To help your decisions, this letter will update you on our status and planning and advise regarding the next steps you should take to ensure you are prepared for fall quarter and registered for the right courses for you. 

As previously announced, Seattle University is planning on reopening for fall quarter with a hybrid model of in-person and virtual instruction and in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff through careful adherence to public health guidance. At the same time, we are closely tracking the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in our area. We will be prepared in the event circumstances require a move to all virtual instruction. We intend to finalize most key decisions for our planned fall reopening by the end of the month and communicate any changes with you prior to the first of August.

To allow for physical distancing within classrooms and to ensure the university supports those faculty and students who need at this time to teach and learn virtually, many fall quarter classes will be taught virtually.   Please know that at Seattle University, we take pride that our virtual classes are taught with the same quality, rigor, care, and engagement as in person.  We have built an outstanding Center for Digital Learning and Innovation and our faculty engage actively in strengthening their capacities in virtual instruction.  We take seriously and invest in this part of our educational mission, and we do it well as reflected in the high level of satisfaction expressed by students this past spring.

In preparing to reopen and responding to evolving circumstances, we are actively reviewing courses scheduled for fall quarter and determining which will be in person, hybrid, or virtual.  As we do this work, on campus instructional facilities will be prioritized for laboratory, clinical, some arts courses and other disciplines where in-person instruction is particularly important. We are also prioritizing the need to support international students with at least one in-person course in the event the recent guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security is not reversed or blocked from taking effect.

During this process, some courses will be shifting from in-person to virtual instruction.  I encourage you to review MySeattleU Student Planning or SU Online, where you will see these changes as they occur.  As you do this, please keep two things in mind:

  1. As your own plans become clearer, please review your Fall Quarter schedule to make sure your courses are compatible with your plans.   You may need to change your registration to select the courses that work for you.  If you plan to be on campus, both virtual and some in person classes are available to you.  If you plan to attend virtually, please select synchronous or asynchronous online courses that fit your schedule.
  2. If you have any difficulty or need a question answered, please contact your school, college, or program advising center. Contact information for advising centers can be found on the upper right hand side of this site:
  3. You will be able to adjust your courses, as usual, through the add/drop period the first week of the quarter. Please be aware that we will be shutting down SU Online after this time and only utilizing MySeattleU Student Planning going forward. We’ve heard positive feedback from students who have already made the switch.

Whether virtually or in person, we look forward to welcoming you back this fall and helping you continue toward your Seattle University degree. 


Robert Dullea
Vice Provost
Chair, Instructional Continuity Working Group