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Preparing to Welcome Our Community Back to Campus in Fall 2020

John Carroll University will resume campus operations, including academic instruction, student activities, and on-campus housing and dining, beginning in August. We are eager to welcome you back to campus for in-person, online, and hybrid instruction in the safest possible way that adheres to social and physical distancing requirements. Our focus remains on delivering the high-quality and deeply engaged educational experience that John Carroll is known for.

For more information, please read a message to the community on July 17 from Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D., president, and Steve Herbert, Ph.D., provost and academic vice president, detailing our preparations for the Fall.

View the University's 2020 Safety Plan here.

We will start instruction at the currently scheduled date (Monday, August 31), but we will forego our two scheduled holidays - Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 7) and our Fall Break (Friday, Oct.16). Instead, we will expand our Thanksgiving break to include the entire week of Thanksgiving. No classes will be held from November 23-27 and students will be required to return to their permanent residence at the start of the Thanksgiving break. When classes resume on Monday, November 30, the last two weeks of instruction and the following exam week will be delivered entirely remotely. For more, view the Academic Calendar for 2020-21.

Academically, we will follow the Flexible Hybrid Learning (HyFlex) model which combines real-time, in-person classroom interaction with rich, on-demand, faculty-developed virtual content.

We are developing comprehensive plans for all aspects of our student experience including residence life, athletics, counseling and health services, campus ministry, student programming, student organizations, service learning, and off-campus engagement.

Residence Halls will be open with both double and single rooms available. The Office of Residence Life is making assignments that take into consideration guidelines from Cuyahoga County public health authorities and the State of Ohio regarding social distancing, cleaning, and sanitation protocols. Move-in will be staggered throughout the week of August 23, 2020. More details and instructions for move-in will be shared when housing assignments are released in early July. ​If it is determined that the residence halls may not open or will be officially closed, residents can be released from the agreement. In addition, students can be released without penalty before moving in if they live within the commuting distance of campus. The two-year residency requirement remains in effect for first- and second-year students not living with parents/guardians within commuting distance. The cost for a single room will vary depending on whether the single is an accommodation for a documented health-related reason and approved by Student Accessibility Services, or if the student is selecting a single as a preferred choice. 

The Office of Residence Life is communicating directly with students who plan to live on campus during the 2020-21 academic year. 

Read President Michael D. Johnson’s message to the community regarding John Carroll's plans for the fall:

July 17: Preparing for the Fall 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions about the Academic Plan

John Carroll University will resume campus operations, including academic instruction, student activities, on-campus housing and dining, beginning in August. With the health, safety, and well-being of our community as our top priority, we plan to begin on-campus instruction on August 31 using the Flexible Hybrid (HyFlex) Learning model.  and follow the previously published Academic Calendar for 2020-21.

We continue to monitor guidelines from the State of Ohio, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and the CDC to inform our plans. Our focus remains on delivering the high-quality and deeply engaged educational experience that John Carroll is known for.

The HyFlex model combines elements of classroom instruction with online learning. Students will be able to attend classes in person or remotely while also availing themselves of online modules created by their instructors. The use of online material will leave more time for genuinely interactive learning in the classroom.

Yes, some students may choose to take all classes online. The University intends to record all classroom sessions so that students will be able to access on-site instruction as well as online material. At the same time, students will be encouraged to attend the “live” meetings that are part and parcel of the HyFlex model.

In certain cases, a class may be offered completely online if developed and designated as an online course, or to accommodate the health needs of the instructor related to COVID-19.  In those instances, students will be informed of the situation prior to the start of the semester.

Yes, the HyFlex model is designed to have students in class as well as recording these sessions for those who cannot attend. In addition, the in-class session can be attended remotely while it is in session.

Our HyFlex approach will allow us to accommodate an early departure from campus, should that be necessary. We are prepared to dismiss students from campus at Thanksgiving and complete the last two weeks of instruction remotely with little disruption to their course delivery. Our courses will be designed to make this transition intentionally, as opposed to the abrupt transition we experienced this past spring. 

The spring semester is planned to occur according to the current 2020-2021 academic calendar (January 19, 2021 through May 14, 2021). If conditions change due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus or State of Ohio guidelines, the HyFlex model will allow the University to pivot to an on-line instruction.

Students will need a typical laptop with an integrated webcam and microphone. For more information about the technology on campus, visit the ITS website.

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Questions about the Student Experience

The Office of Residence Life is planning for your return to on-campus living in August! We are developing plans that prioritize your health and safety, follow local, state, and national health-related guidance and directives, and focus on providing you with an engaging residential community experience. Our current planning includes:


  • Increased availability of single-occupancy room options. We recognize that some students want to live with a roommate in the fall while others may prefer to live in a single-occupancy room. We have increased the number of single-occupancy rooms available and have provided students with the opportunity to select a single room.
  • The development of enhanced cleaning protocols for community bathrooms and community spaces, including the availability of cleaning products for individual use in the community bathrooms.
  • A review of all residence hall common areas to designate capacities that allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • A review of double-occupancy residence hall rooms to determine furniture layouts that best support students’ health.
  • The development of expectations and educational opportunities that highlight the shared responsibility of prioritizing the health of all members of our residential community.
  • Designing a move-in process focused on the health and safety of our students, their families, and the entire JCU community.
  • Preparing to support students who may exhibit symptoms of, test positive for, or are diagnosed with COVID-19.

We are working with Parkhurst, our dining provider, to develop plans that align with current state and local guidance for dining facilities. Plans include enhanced sanitation, following social distancing requirements, mobile ordering, and reductions of self-service options. Full details will be provided this summer.

We are awaiting guidelines from the NCAA and the Ohio Athletic Conference related to the conditions under which each sport will be able to operate. More information will be shared with student athletes as it becomes available.

We will follow State of Ohio and County Public Health guidelines as well as the best practices provided by the National Intramural Sports and Recreation Association for opening workout facilities. We have begun the renovation of our main workout facility, the Corbo Room, which will be expanded in size with new equipment that will allow for social distancing. Access to the Rec Center will be determined by the room capacities and required cleaning protocols.

The Center for Service and Social Action (CSSA) will continue to coordinate and offer weekly service opportunities for all service-learning courses and all interested students.  For the fall semester, all weekly service activities will be virtual service activities to ensure the safety of our students, our community partners, and the vulnerable populations with whom we work.  In ongoing meetings with our community partners, they have told us that their needs are greater now than ever before.

Yes. We will offer Mass on campus following the State of Ohio guidelines for group gatherings and the Diocese of Cleveland guidelines regarding Liturgies. We will also continue to accommodate the needs of students from all faiths, following social distancing guidelines.

Yes. Most of the 80-plus student organizations will continue to be active, although their meetings and activities will likely be a combination of in-person and virtual experiences, due to room capacities and social distancing requirements.

Yes. We plan to offer events on campus as State of Ohio guidelines for group gatherings and room capacities allow. Social distancing and masks will be part of the new norm of operations.

After careful consideration and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all JCU Club Sports competition has been postponed through Dec. 31, 2020. This includes all on- and off-campus competition, travel, practices, and intrasquad scrimmages. We will continue to evaluate our ability to resume some practices and conditioning opportunities during the fall semester. It is our hope to resume competition and practice in January 2021. 

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Questions about Health, Safety, and Wellness

Our plan to keep JCU safe this fall is contingent on cooperation from our entire community to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment. Students will be required to wear masks in classes, in campus buildings with the exception of dining facilities while eating, and while in their residence hall rooms. Students will be expected to wear masks in common spaces in the residence halls and the Lombardo Student Center/Rec Plex. We will be following State of Ohio and County health and safety guidelines. Masks will be strongly encouraged when outdoors, in particular when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Employees and guests are required to follow the same guidelines.  

We are following guidance and requirements of the State of Ohio, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and the Cleveland Clinic regarding testing, tracing and tracking of the COVID-19 virus. At this time we are not planning to test all students, faculty, and staff but we are requiring daily health symptom assessments for employees working on campus this summer. We are in the process of considering a number of options for health symptom assessments for students and employees in the fall. The JCU Student Health and Wellness Center partners with Cleveland Clinic doctors who practice on campus and will assist us in accessing tests as recommended.

The steps in a daily symptom assessment are as follows:

  • Do I have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher? If yes, students should contact the JCU Health and Wellness Center by telephone. Employees should contact their supervisor and should not come to campus.
  • Do I have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
  • Do I have at least two of these symptoms: fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell? 

Under the direction of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH), the JCU Student Health & Wellness Center will notify and inform the appropriate individuals who may have had contact with the infected individual.

Students should contact the JCU Student Health and Wellness Center by telephone at 216-397-4349 to discuss their symptoms.

Employees should contact their health care provider by telephone.

We are designating rooms on residence hall floors that are isolated from other floors and wings to isolate students with symptoms. 

JCU is making decisions that prioritize the health and safety of students, their families, faculty, staff, and the community. Our plan starts with an expectation that all members of the community will positively contribute to a safe and healthy learning environment. This will require that students, faculty, and staff take responsibility for their own actions, monitoring their health and following guidelines provided by the State of Ohio and local public health officials and the University in terms of maintaining social distancing, wear masks in indoor spaces, frequently wash hands, clean and sanitize personal property, offices, and residence hall rooms as applicable.

The COVID-19 pandemic requires JCU and JCU community members to utilize multiple layers of protection to keep the campus and workplace clean. Cleaning and disinfection in concert with wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing is essential to preventing the spread of the virus. As we prepare for the reopening of campus, our housekeeping contractor will be cleaning all residential rooms, classrooms, labs and common areas with an EPA-approved disinfectant effective against the virus. Enhanced cleaning in each area will be supplemented with increased frequency of cleaning of high-touch surfaces including door handles, elevator buttons and handrails. Disinfectant products will be supplied to faculty and staff to self-disinfect their desks and shared office equipment. Hand sanitizer stations have also been installed at building entrances, in high-traffic areas, restrooms, computer labs and other common spaces.

JCU is aware that several states have issued public health requirements for residents and visitors to self-quarantine after having travelled  to numerous other designated states, including Ohio. Currently, several of these states (i.e. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) do not require self-quarantining if the time spent in these states, including Ohio, is 24 hours or less. It is unclear how long these self-quarantine requirements will be in place, and if the terms of the restrictions will change in the future. Students from states outside of Ohio should review the public health guidance from their home states prior to coming to John Carroll to visit or move to campus if they or their families plan to return to their home states during periods of restrictions. Depending on the ability of the student or their families to meet their state’s self-quarantine rules, it is strongly encouraged that students from states that require self-quarantine upon returning to their permanent residences consider staying in Ohio upon their arrival until restrictions and guidance changes.

The New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut guidance indicates that a 14-day quarantine is required for individuals who have been in Ohio for more than 24 hours. This requirement may change over the course of the next month, so it is important to plan accordingly if you are visiting campus prior to moving here. The number of cases has increased recently in Ohio and many other states. When deciding on your travel plans, you can track the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Cuyahoga County by visiting the Cuyahoga County Board of Health website.


You are invited to view the full list of John Carroll's cleaning procedures, including Residential Buildings, Academic Buildings, the D.J. Lombardo Student Center and other common spaces, and HVAC improvements.

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Questions about Tuition and Fees

A student may request a deferral for one semester or a full year by contacting an Enrollment Manager. Requests for deferrals must be made by August 7, 2020. Merit scholarships will remain intact, however any mission based scholarship, endowed or tuition exchange award cannot be held and students will need to reapply for consideration. To be reconsidered for need-based financial aid, the student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2021-2022 academic year (our preferred early filer deadline is December 1).

Tuition is set regardless of the instructional method. The HyFlex model is simply a different way of providing the high-quality educational experience for which John Carroll is noted. HyFlex was developed years before the current pandemic for entirely pedagogical reasons, specifically, to accommodate the various learning styles and schedules of students. It seeks to promote their engagement by an array of methods, of which remote instruction is only one. In addition, the online element makes HyFlex readily adaptable to all-remote teaching, should circumstances make that necessary again. Because HyFlex requires a rethinking of traditional classroom instruction, our faculty are enrolled in special summer workshops designed to thoroughly familiarize them with the model.

JCU’s Office of Financial Aid is available to assist any student or family who may be experiencing financial hardship. Click here for additional information on the JCU appeal process.

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