Fall Semester Update for Faculty

August 5th, 2020 - 8:25am

Dear College of Marin Faculty:

Now that August has arrived, here are some important updates as we prepare for the opening of the fall semester:

  • A communication will be sent to students about checking course footnotes in the online schedule and connecting with their instructors about course requirements (for example, on-campus meeting dates for hybrid courses and required synchronous meeting times for online courses). Please check your COM email to respond to student inquiries.
  • The Canvas shells for Fall 2020 will open on August 10th and this timeline is earlier than normal. The reason for this is to allow students to access the course welcome letters and make any schedule adjustments based on course requirements. Students will also be notified that the course welcome letters/orientation will be available to them starting August 10.
  • A revised COM Student Support Services page containing updated online tutoring and labs information for orientation module is available for import from Canvas Commons
  • In preparation for August 10, instructors should have their welcome letters ready to post in Canvas in the “Announcements” section and hide (unpublish) any other course information that they don’t want visible at that time.
  • Please note: if you used Canvas Announcements to message your students about your fall course plans, it was not forwarded to their email. After August 10, all announcements will be forwarded to the students’ emails.
  • The attached Student Information Sheet will be shared with students shortly. It provides information about COVID-19-related protocols and expectations.

Additional Information and Resources:
The data in this Reuters article are a good synopsis of the systemic reach of racism in policy and practice—and how fully baked into our society it is on so many levels:


A fall employee mental health series on topics such as compassion fatigue, trauma-informed teaching, and meditation for liberation is being planned. I encourage you to check out the Support Services for Faculty page on the website as it is full of resources on managing stress, feelings of isolation, and coping during this time. We continue to update as resources come in: COM Faculty Support Services

The Healthy Minds Network in collaboration with the American College Health Association developed a new set of survey items related to students’ experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic. The new items focused on students’ attitudes, concerns, preventive behaviors, and their perceived supportiveness of colleges and universities related to COVID-19. These items were fielded to random samples of college students on participating campuses across the United States between March and May 2020.

Are we experiencing a “new” normal or is this temporary? How are students defining this terminology and this extraordinary period?  Are we over-emphasizing normal? Many students of color have described this pandemic as one more challenge added to an existing array of challenges. (WEBINAR)
Is this a New or Temporary Normal?: Life for Students of Color in Fall 2020

Academia’s mental health crisis, often focused on students’ experiences, affects professors too
Faculty open up about mental health under the COVID-19 pandemic

Thank you.

Jonathan Eldridge
Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Learning and Success
Office: (415) 485-9618