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The following message was shared with students, parents, faculty, and staff on May 20, 2020 at 10 a.m. regarding John Carroll University's plans for the fall academic semester.


Dear Students,

Congratulations for your resiliency and flexibility in completing your coursework this semester. As Ohio and other states are in the process of reopening with care and caution, here at John Carroll we are also hard at work planning for your return to campus at the end of August. I am writing today to share our current plans for the upcoming academic year. As the summer progresses, we will be communicating with you regularly as plans are solidified. Our planning is guided by our highest priorities -- the health and safety of our entire community, and adherence to the guidance and directives issued by local, state, and national public health officials. Your health and safety are our primary concern as we build a hope-filled future with you at John Carroll. 


You’ll see much more below, but here are the most important updates we want you to be aware of related to our return to campus for the fall semester:


  • With your health, safety, and well-being as our top priority, we plan to begin on-campus instruction on August 31 and follow the previously published Academic Calendar for 2020-21. (Note: On July 17, an update was issued regarding the fall academic calendar. Please see the latest message for additional details on Fall Semester dates).

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

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

  • Additional updates will follow throughout in the coming weeks and months.


While we await guidelines from the State of Ohio to inform our plans, we are eager to welcome you back to campus for in-person instruction in the fall in the safest possible way. Our focus remains on delivering the high-quality and deeply engaged educational experience that John Carroll is known for. Our plan is to begin classes on August 31 and to follow the Academic Calendar for 2020-21 that we have previously published. 

We recognize that as we move toward in-person classes, we must remain flexible enough to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing environment. To ensure that we can meet all scenarios that may arise, our faculty are working throughout the summer to redesign each course to follow the Flexible Hybrid Learning (or HyFlex) model of course design. Each course will combine real-time, in-person classroom interaction with rich on-demand content developed by our faculty.


The experience of our faculty, reinforced after hearing from you, our students, has confirmed that there are intrinsic benefits to teaching and learning methods that both prioritize direct interaction among students and with their professors, and that enable students to study faculty-developed material on their own time and at their own pace.  

Thus, some course elements will be designed ahead of time and will be made available on demand (asynchronously). Live (synchronous) components will be taught at scheduled times in some form of our usual, intensive, in-person classroom instruction that fosters active engagement between students and with your professor. A heavy focus on engaged dialogue, community building, leadership, and service are core elements of a JCU academic experience.

There are additional benefits: We expect that directives from public health authorities will require us to reduce classroom seating capacities, and we also anticipate that at various points during the academic year, individual students or instructors may not be able to be physically present in class. The flexible hybrid model will best position us to meet the needs of all our community members. We will work with and support students who need additional services or flexibility to achieve their academic goals with minimal disruption. 


We know your John Carroll educational experience is not complete without your engagement beyond the classroom. In our many conversations with students during this challenging time, we have heard your great desire to return in person to campus this fall. We share this desire with you and are working tirelessly to plan for your return as residential students, commuters, and as remote learners. 

We also know that when we are able to return in person to campus, things will look different, our expectations will be adjusted, and our priorities will compel us to approach our engagement in new and changing ways. We are developing comprehensive plans for all aspects of your experience including residence life, athletics, counseling and health services, campus ministry, student programming, student organizations, service learning, and off-campus engagement. Regardless of what changes we may face, our commitment to your experience and to you remains constant. 

As we finalize our plans consistent with public health guidance, please know that we will be sharing updates with you in a timely manner. Please continue to be attentive to your John Carroll email throughout the summer. 

We look forward to welcoming you and your loved ones back to campus this fall.  



Michael D. Johnson

President, John Carroll University