Academics and Classrooms | St. Lawrence University Always Forward: Returning to St. Lawrence

Academics and Classrooms

Our faculty are committed working hard all semester to ensure the classroom experience, whether hybrid or remote, is rewarding and fulfilling for every student. They will continue to hold themselves and their students to the high standards we’re known for while we all follow careful guidance to keep our community healthy and safe.

Preparing for Classes

Classes on campus look different from this year because we recognize that not all our students are physically on campus for all or part of the semester and because of the need for social distancing in classrooms. Most classes are a combination of in-person and online work and interaction. Some courses are fully online, whether the class members are living on campus or elsewhere. 

The time between classes is now 20 minutes to allow students and faculty to clean surfaces before and after classes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the time between classes at the lunch period is now 30 minutes to allow safe serving of students. The class schedule extends to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

On January 14, St. Lawrence County Public Health notified the colleges that, due to limited resources for contact tracing relative to the high number of cases in the county, its staff no longer had the capacity to ask detailed questions about classroom experiences when a student or faculty member tests positive.  The Public Health staff advised that if a class meets for 60 minutes or longer, Public Health likely will quarantine the entire class, assuming all have been exposed through the factor of duration.  If a class meets less than 60 minutes, Public Health will determine quarantine by such factors as proximity to the positive person, class experience (interactive or seated), or ventilation.

Spring 2021 Brewer Bookstore Textbook Information

  1. Textbooks: Shop the live inventory of textbooks here. Students can pay online, and select shipping or curbside pick-up at checkout:
    • Students will receive an email confirmation when course materials are shipped and/or ready for curbside pick-up.
    • Students will need to order their books 24 hours ahead of their anticipated curbside pick-up.
    • On-campus pick-up must be curbside before you report for testing and enter quarantine. Simply park at the Brewer Bookstore parking lot upon returning to campus, call 315-229-5460, and we will bring your course materials to you!  Then proceed to the testing clinic and after your test, go directly to your residence hall. The Bookstore will allow in-person shopping for students after January 14.
  2. EBooks: Digital texts can be purchased online at, or via Sakai if your professor has turned on the RedShelf tool (this will vary by class). 
  3. Rentals: Rentals will be available via this link Use code 15BREWER at checkout to receive 15% off the whole order; code can be used multiple times, no cart minimum, and expires on 2/28/2021.
  4. Questions?: Have questions about course materials? Call our text experts at 315-229-5460.
    • Remember, the last day to return textbooks is Monday, Jan. 18. Our textbook return policy is here.

Community-Based Learning 

Community-Based Learning (CBL) is a treasured part of the educational experience at St. Lawrence for many students and faculty members, and we’re committed to continuing its tradition in a reimagined format. The community engagement portion of CBL courses is available in remote formats only and volunteer opportunities in the community will be allowed only if the host business has an industry-specific safety plan reviewed by the Return to Work Committee. St. Lawrence transportation can be used if available; priority is given to academic needs then to athletics then to recreation and other uses. (Please see the section below on Field Trips for COVID-19 transportation safety protocols.)

Classrooms and Academic Buildings

We conducted a GPS-informed study of classroom capacity to inform this factor. We also received an air flow study of classroom spaces and found compliance with most spaces. We are avoiding the use of non-compliant spaces. The Academic Planning Committee has agreed that in order to de-densify classrooms, all classes will meet remotely for the final week of instruction and final exams. In the event of classroom space limitations, changing circumstances, and individual student or faculty needs related to potential for quarantine, faculty are prepared to teach remotely.

Reassignment of classes to appropriate spaces means that our classes meet the 6 ft. distancing rule between students and we continue to follow NYS guidance for those classes, such as labs or studios, where 6 ft. distancing is impractical. Masks are required in all classroom settings.  Discussion groups or lab partnerships are allowed to be closer than 6 feet if necessary, but wearing masks is always mandatory.

Research LabsNew York State released specific guidance for higher education research. Faculty should continue to refer to this guidance while adhering to their work-safety plans and advising students. 

Lounges, Break Rooms, and Elevators: We communicated expectations and arranged furnishings to ensure that our shared public spaces comply with the 50% capacity requirement and are closed for cleaning in academic buildings at 11:30 p.m. Those accessing lounges or empty classrooms must comply with safety rules and clean surfaces when they enter and exit the space. Elevators on campus will have a maximum of two (2) people at one time. 

Field Trip Components for Fall Courses

We understand that not all learning takes place in the classroom, and that travel offers invaluable enrichment opportunities for some courses. For this reason, we’ve outlined the following guidelines for safe, smart travel this fall within St. Lawrence County or with additional precautions, outside St. Lawrence County:

For all field trips:

  • The group leader must compile a plan to address the wearing of personal protective equipment, social distancing measures, and road trip concerns such as comfort breaks. The plan should be submitted here.
  • Drivers and passengers will be trained on proper social distancing and the use of masks for all trips.
  • Masks to each driver will be provided and offered disposable masks for passengers as needed.
  • The number of passengers in each university transport vehicle will be reduced to 3 and the driver. This is limited to one passenger per row in seating and will be staggered seating within each row alternating sides of the vehicle.
  • Each vehicle will be supplied with disinfectant and paper towels to disinfect vehicle surfaces as needed.
  • Drivers are instructed to sign in, collect trip information, and then leave the office to wait for their passengers outside, in front of the Safety and Security Office. Upon return, drivers may briefly enter the Safety and Security Office to submit the proper trip documentation. 
  • Drivers will receive the training program regarding the proper use of PPE, cleaning, and storage. The protocols in place are to follow the Workplace Safety Plan and safety training program.
  • No traveling to areas within the County with higher concentration of COVID-19 cases.
  • See CDC guidelines for using transportation here.

September 20 Update

Faculty-sponsored academic field trips may be approved for travel outside of St. Lawrence County (SLC) if:

  1. they are submitting a request for a trip that is largely outdoors;
  2. the trip requires no more than 2 hours or 90 miles of driving (each way);
  3. they drive with the windows down to get air circulation;
  4. they take all necessary safety steps (distancing, mask wearing, hand washing if they stop);
  5. they do not stop at bars or eat-in restaurants;
  6. the county to which they are traveling should have a COVID rate at or below that in St. Lawrence County.

If the University has any positive tests, we will curtail all travel outside of the county. 

First-Year Students

We are determined to provide our first years with a rewarding FYP experience, which means fostering the same sense of community and support network our program is known for—whether FYP classes meet in the fall or the spring. Our Community Assistants continue to offer support and our faculty advisors continue to serve as mentors to help our first years plan throughout the fall semester. In these uncertain times, your connection to and role in the Laurentian community is as vital as ever, and we can’t wait to welcome you in the fall.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time Student Tuition: Tuition for students enrolled full-time (four courses per semester), whether that student is on campus or taking classes remotely, remains unchanged.

Less-than-full-time Tuition for Remote Attendance: Tuition for students enrolled less than full time (less than four courses per semester) from home will be calculated according to the number of courses taken, with each course calculated at 1/8 the cost of a full-year, full-time tuition, or ¼ of a full-time semester charge, which is  $7,291.25.

Summer Semester (Semester III) Students: Because Semester III students will be in residence less time compared to fall and spring semester students, fees for the Summer 2021 semester will be prorated. The comprehensive fee will be $34,357, consisting of tuition ($29,165), room ($2,720), board ($2,330), student activity fee ($137), and class dues ($5).

Financial aid will only be available for full-time remote students (those taking a full semester’s course load) and will be calculated on full tuition and a technology fee.

Merit aid will remain the same, but need-based aid will be calculated on the actual cost of attendance. We will not calculate aid to include cost-of-living expenses for the student.