March 17, 2022
Dear UC Santa Barbara Students:
As the Winter Quarter ends, we wanted to share the UC Santa Barbara academic policies for modes of instruction that will be in place for the Spring Quarter.  We are looking forward to returning in the Spring Quarter, with very few exceptions, to the in-person, classroom instruction that characterizes residential undergraduate and graduate education.
The plans for spring are guided by the dramatic improvements in public health conditions in our community, as evidenced by the very low numbers of new COVID-19 cases that now qualify Santa Barbara county as low-risk according to the CDC, coupled with the lack of recent outbreaks on our campus, and the absence of hospitalization or serious illness among our students and employees in Winter Quarter. The risk of COVID-19 transmission is currently lower than at the beginning of the Fall Quarter, when the campus returned to in-person instruction, thanks in large part to our high rate of vaccination and the low transmission rate in the community. We will continue to monitor all of these factors very closely during the Spring Quarter.
Two years ago, the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily forced all instruction to be conducted remotely. Now that circumstances no longer justify this emergency measure, the campus is returning to the previously existing campus instructional policies, including the default in-person mode of instruction.
Below is a summary of guidance that has been sent to faculty regarding instructional modes for the Spring Quarter.
Online instruction – designated in GOLD with a “W” 
Online instruction, whether it is the fully virtual experience of a carefully designed online course or the simultaneous online delivery of an otherwise in-person class, is permitted only by approval. The Academic Senate (a body of elected and appointed faculty members that approve all modes of instruction) approval process requires that the online instruction be based on its intrinsic educational value, rather than the convenience of the instructor or students. The only exceptions to this policy are for serious medical conditions, which may result in a temporary remote teaching accommodation granted to an instructor or a temporary remote learning accommodation granted to a student. Absent one of these formal accommodations, all instructors and students are expected to be on campus for classroom instruction.
In addition to courses developed at UC Santa Barbara, the University of California offers a number of systemwide online courses in which UCSB students may enroll for course credit. They include courses that fulfill GE requirements and some major requirements. However, the number of fully online courses is limited, and students should not expect to fill their complete schedule with them.
Hybrid instruction (partly online)
Academic Senate policy currently allows a portion of instruction in each in-person course to be offered virtually. The fraction of virtual instruction must be less than 50%, on a weekly basis, from the enrolled student’s perspective. This type of hybrid instruction must be approved by the department chair prior to the start of the quarter, based on the instructor’s pedagogical rationale for the virtual component. In addition, the students must be notified about the hybrid mode of instruction during the enrollment period prior to the start of instruction (for Spring Quarter 2022, the deadline was February 25). In a lecture course with discussion sections, all components of the course count towards the 50% limit.
Dual mode forms of instruction
Instructors should not provide a fully remote alternative for courses taught in-person, for example, by simultaneously live-streaming or classroom recording. These forms of dual-mode instruction could result in some students receiving fully online instruction, for which our programs are not accredited. Faculty, however, may, at their discretion, record their lectures and make them available for subsequent review by students as study aids. These classroom recordings must supplement rather than replace classroom instruction.
Instructional alternatives for brief student absences
Instructors should provide reasonable alternatives to make up missed work to students who miss class for a brief period (e.g., one week) for a medical reason, including a positive COVID test or required isolation or quarantine. The form of these alternatives is entirely the instructor’s prerogative, and may or may not include the recording of lectures or class content. Instructors should announce their attendance policy and state their approach to missed classes clearly at the beginning of the course. Students should contact their instructor if they have questions.
Instructional alternatives for students with DSP-approved accommodations
Students with documented qualifying disabilities or medical situations such as serious immuno-compromised conditions that preclude their participation in classroom instruction may seek a remote learning accommodation through the Disabled Students Program. These accommodations are administered by the DSP office, not by instructors. DSP is required to discuss with the instructor how to provide access to the student without materially altering the nature of the class or unduly burdening the instructor’s workload. If the DSP office facilitates an accommodation by sending an Access Ambassador to the classroom to live stream the lecture, the lecture is not recorded or available to other students in the class. 
We recognize that emergency remote instruction and the complex logistics of returning to on-campus activities have been challenging for students, but also for instructors. We are optimistic that Spring Quarter will allow us to return to a more normal learning environment.
Michael Miller
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education
Leila Rupp
Interim Dean of Graduate Studies
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