In March 2021, the University of Maine System announced plans to welcome students back to campuses for a traditional, in-person college experience at the start of the fall 2021 semester. Since then, each UMS campus has been planning for classroom instruction, residence hall occupancy, and campus-based activities that resemble operations in fall 2019 rather than fall 2020.
Chancellor Malloy reiterated System expectations for fall return in his June 16 email to employees. Guidance for faculty and staff can also be found on the Together for Maine website.
Until the University of Maine System provides further guidance and updates, here are the core concepts that guide USM’s plans for fall 2021:
- We are holding face-to-face instruction per usual this fall. Our teaching modalities for individual courses have been set since April 2021, and students have been registering for classes since then based on those declared modalities. (Course modalities can be seen in MaineStreet, and each course modality is explained below.)
- As a University, we are planning for normal capacity limits in all buildings.
- Like the rest of the University, Dining Services will follow the face-covering guidelines that are provided by the University of Maine System. Moving forward, dining hall stations that were once self-serve will now be served stations.
- Vaccination is strongly recommended, but not required for students or employees at this time. Vaccination against COVID-19 is still our fastest way back to normal — at USM and in our lives. Asymptomatic students, staff, and faculty who would otherwise be required to participate in asymptomatic COVID-19 testing and who otherwise would be required to quarantine when determined to be a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, may be exempted from testing and quarantining if they are fully vaccinated and provide verification of their fully vaccinated status to the University. To voluntarily provide verification of vaccination, select the “Enter My COVID-19 Vaccine Information” option on the PointNClick website. If you need assistance with the process, please see this helpful how-to video and the System's step-by-step vaccination verification guide. And please review this online resource to find a free vaccination site near you.
- Please see the Together for Maine website for the latest face-covering guidelines. For details on acceptable face coverings, please see the UMS Face Covering Guide.
Course Modalities Explained*
- Asynchronous Online (Dates and times on MaineStreet will be listed at “TBA.”)
With Asynchronous Online classes, 100 percent of course instruction is online (Brightspace), with no specific meeting times required and no expectation that enrolled students will come to campus. Asynchronous is not self-paced; students will be responsible for meeting assignment deadlines as determined by the course instructor.
- Synchronous “Online Live”
If a course is listed on MaineStreet as “online live,” it will be taught online via Zoom at specific times during the week. Students will be required to be present on Zoom at the specified times. The days and times the course meets each week will be listed on MaineStreet.
Blended courses can be listed as any combination of asynchronous online, synchronous “online live,” and/or face-to-face in-person instruction. The number of required in-person or online-live sections may differ for each blended course. Specific dates for these meetings should be listed on MaineStreet within the course notes and/or in the syllabus provided by the course instructor.
Face-to-Face courses consist of required in-person instruction on campus at specific days and times that are listed on MaineStreet. Courses that are fully face-to-face or blended with an in-person component will have COVID-19 safety protocols in place that include physical distancing, sanitation measures, and required face-coverings for all students, faculty, and staff.
*USM's Advising Team generously provided these course modality descriptions.
Testing at USM
Thank you to the thousands of Huskies who reported for testing when requested during the 2020–2021 academic year. Your participation helped with our efforts to curb the spread of the virus and keep the pack safe.
- Please see USM's Asymptomatic Testing website for more information.
- FREE testing is available throughout Maine. See the Keeping Maine Healthy COVID-19 Testing Locations to learn where you can obtain a test. (Scroll down a bit to see the list.)
Housing at USM
If you have questions, please contact USM's COVID-19 Ombudsperson, COO & CFO Alexander Porteous.