Fall 2020 Guidance
In response to COVID-19, university courses and operations remain predominantly online for fall.

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

Lesley University is monitoring the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) situation, offering guidance, support, and regular updates. The health, wellbeing, and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of our extended community, are always first. Please read the following information, policies, and key decisions, and check this page for regular updates.

Fall 2020 Plan for Students

We thank you and your families for your patience as we work through the evolving details of our Fall 2020 plan for Lesley students.

Learn more about our operations for the upcoming semester.

Related Articles, News, and Stories

Read about virtual learning at Lesley, how we honored our 2020 graduates,  and more.

COVID-19 within the Lesley University Community

  • Respect for Privacy

    We are committed to supporting our colleagues, students, and the broader community through the challenges presented by COVID-19.

    In the event that members of the Lesley community test positive for COVID-19, we ask that you be respectful of their need for privacy.

  • Getting Help if You're Concerned about Exposure

    If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 please contact your primary care physician.

    If you have been tested, please notify Lesley University at michele.trifiro@lesley.edu so that we may take appropriate steps to support you and protect the Lesley community.

    • Taking Care of Your Mental Health

      Lesley's Counseling Center

      In this time of uncertainty, we know many of you are struggling to make sense of everything that is happening. Lesley's Counseling Center continues to support our students the best way they can. At this time, the Counseling Center can only offer some current clients counseling services via teletherapy. They are also happy to help you locate resources and referrals that are near you.

      • Email counselingcenter@lesley.edu or call 617.349.8545, and leave your name and number in a message. The Counseling Center is checking voicemail and emails each day, and a member of the team will be in touch with you.

      Resources on the Counseling Center's Web Page

      Visit the Counseling Center's web page for resources such as crisis hotlines, meditation apps, and more.

    • Health and Safety

      We encourage you to continue to take steps to keep yourself and those around you safe. Although most of our employees are working remotely, we do have some who continue to report to campus. We have provided guidance on health and safety, enhanced our cleaning protocols, and are doing our best to support their safety and wellbeing.

      Social distancing, wearing a cloth face mask in public, and frequent handwashing are essential. Please continue to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Cambridge Board of Health, and Governor Baker.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • CARES Act

      Updated August 24, 2020

      Lesley University has signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The University intends to use no less than 50% of the funds it receives under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

      Under the CARES Act, Lesley University will receive $998,930 from the Department pursuant to its Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

      As of August 21, 2020, the institution has made $950,350 in emergency grant funds to 1,267 students.

      The University estimates that 2,353 students were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus would be eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

      The institution has distributed a questionnaire to the 2,353 students determined to be eligible and as of August 21, 2020 has received 1,267 completed questionnaires which were used to help determine for whom and in what amount to award the Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

      Eligible students were notified by email, provided instructions, and a link to an application to request Emergency Financial Aid Grants.  Students were also directed to our Lynx Solution Center at: solutioncenter.lesley.edu for additional information and guidance.

    • General

      Q: IS LESLEY UNIVERSITY STILL OPEN?

      A: Yes. Students attending summer sessions continue their studies online and faculty, most staff, and administrators are working remotely to provide the same level of office operations and services as before. Further information is available on this webpage.

      Q: WHY IS LESLEY MAKING THESE DECISIONS?

      A: These are uncertain and, at least in recent history, unprecedented times as we navigate this worldwide pandemic. The university is proceeding with an abundance of caution for the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and other community members.

      Q: WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS?

      A: On the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

      Q: WHAT ARE HEALTH EXPERTS RECOMMENDING?

      A: Watch for symptoms, wash your hands, wear cloth face coverings in public, and practice physical distancing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Also, assess whether you have traveled from a place experiencing widespread reported cases of Coronavirus, or if you believe you’ve had contact with someone exposed to it. If so, experts advise self-quarantining at home, if at all possible. Consult cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

      Q: ARE CAMPUS EVENTS BEING CANCELED?

      A: The university has postponed all on-campus events and major celebrations. We are reviewing the next steps, all with an eye toward the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community members. Our goal is to resume full on-campus operations at a later date when it is prudent to do so.

    • Students and Parents

      Q: DID STUDENTS COME BACK TO CAMPUS DURING THE SPRING SEMESTER?

      A: No. Lesley University did not hold classes on campus through the end of the Spring semester.

      Q: DID STUDENTS RETURN TO CAMPUS TO MOVE BACK INTO THE RESIDENCE HALLS?

      A: No. Lesley University moved all classes online through the end of the Spring and Summer semesters.

      Q: ARE STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR A ROOM AND BOARD REFUND?

      A: We provided residential students a credit for room and board for the time between spring break and the end of the Spring 2020 semester. The amount of credit was applied toward any outstanding balance on your student account. If the credit resulted in a refund, it should have been issued in April. Students who have not already signed up for direct deposit accounts should do so by logging into their student account at Lesley.afford.com. As the credits are posted they will be viewable at Lesley.afford.com as well.

      Please contact us at 617.349.8760 with any questions. We anticipate providing students with the option to select a refund or a credit for the pro-rata portion of room and board payments, accounting for the time the student is away from campus. There are a number of governmental regulations and guidelines that must be taken into consideration to make sure we structure these refunds or credits properly for you so we appreciate your patience as we await guidance from the Federal government. 

      Q: WHAT ABOUT STUDENT EXCHANGE AND STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS?

      A: Our students typically participate in a variety of programs. Over the course of the Spring semester, a number of programs were either canceled or moved online including all Lesley Exchange Partner programs. We have been in contact with all of our study abroad students regarding their individual circumstances to support their transition. International faculty-led travel courses for Spring 2020 that had not commenced prior to Spring Break were canceled. We are carefully considering courses planned beyond the spring semester.

      Q. WHAT ABOUT MY INTERNSHIP OR FIELD PLACEMENT?

      A. Lesley has come to the difficult decision that any field placements and internships that have not been cancelled will remain remote/online participation experiences until future notice for the Spring 2020 semester and through the Summer 2020 semesters. We came to this decision after our faculty and field offices contacted students, faculty, sites, and the licensing boards to determine how to best move forward. During this time, please be in contact, virtually, with your practicum/internship supervisor and/or your school's field training/internship office.

      For students in licensure programs, you will (or will have) received communication from your school's field offices that remain in contact with external regulatory bodies. For specific guidance, please refer to those correspondences.  

      Our Field Placement Offices remain your partners in experiential learning throughout this situation and will guide you through this transition. Field experience and internships are key parts of a Lesley education and we recognize how difficult it is to imagine long-term on-line engagement as a replacement for face-to-face contact. As the situation continues to rapidly evolve, we will review the circumstances again when the state and national declarations of emergency are lifted and we will be guided by ongoing consideration of state and health agency recommendations.

      Q. WHAT ABOUT SUMMER RESIDENCIES?

      A. Summer residencies are either switching to an online format or have changed their timing.

      Q. I’M AN ACCEPTED STUDENT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

      A. Our admission decisions won't change because of the current pandemic. Please proceed as follows:

      If you are an accepted undergraduate, take a virtual tour of our campus and learn more about our programs. If you have questions, please contact Undergraduate Admissions at admissions@lesley.edu or 617.349.8800.

      If you are an accepted graduate student, take a virtual tour of our campus and learn more about our programs. If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Selmo, Associate Vice President of Graduate Admissions: bselmo@lesley.edu; 617.349.8300.

      Q. IS LESLEY STILL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS?

      A. Yes. And we have a very flexible approach and can work with you if you've experienced disruption due to the global pandemic. Additionally, we've extended our commitment deadline.

      If you are applying as an undergraduate and have any questions, please contact admissions@lesley.edu or 617.349.8800.

      If you are applying as a graduate student and have any questions, please contact Barbara Selmo, Associate Vice President of Graduate Admissions: bselmo@lesley.edu; 617.349.8267

      Q. I’M A STUDENT (OR PARENT): TO WHOM SHOULD I DIRECT QUESTIONS?

      A.  Nathaniel Mays, Dean of Students
           Email: nmays@lesley.edu
           Phone: 617.894.2765

    • Faculty and Staff

      Q: I NEED ACCESS TO MY OFFICE, WHAT CAN I DO?

      A: If you need access to your office or need to come to campus for a short period of time, please contact Michele Trifiro (michele.trifiro@lesley.edu) to receive authorization and instructions.

      Q: WHAT KIND OF CLEANING IS BEING DONE ON CAMPUS?

      A:  We have adjusted our campus cleaning protocols, with special emphasis on frequently touched areas. 

      Q: WILL TRAVEL TO OVERSEAS CONFERENCES BE ALLOWED?

      A: No. All Lesley-sponsored foreign travel has been suspended until further notice.

      Q: WILL TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES BE PERMITTED?

      A:  Any essential work-related domestic travel via airplane or Amtrak requires Cabinet-level approval, even if you have already obtained department approval. 

      Q: WHAT ABOUT PERSONAL/VACATION TRAVEL?

      A: We urge community members to consult the CDC’s travel advisory page and the Department of State’s travel advisory page as you consider travel. 

    • Contacts

      Questions should be directed to the following individuals:

      Student and parent questions:

      Faculty questions:

      Staff questions:

    Teaching and Learning

    Here are some important changes to how courses will be delivered and other events.

    • Moving Courses Online

      As of March 23, 2020, we moved our undergraduate and graduate courses online for the Spring and Summer semesters.

      Regrettably, the university will not return to in-person instruction before the fall. Students should continue to check their email for information from the university and for instructions from faculty about their courses going online.

      We are working on the implications of this shift for studio courses, labs, internships, the Threshold program, and other types of courses or activities. We are sharing information as it becomes available.

      As circumstances change, we will adjust our plans accordingly. But given what we know at the moment, we believe this is the wisest course of action

    • Grading Policy for Spring 2020

      After careful consideration from faculty, the Registrar’s office, and other affected constituents, the grading policy for the Spring semester and Spring Term 2 changed. Key points are:

      1. Default grade for all classes will be pass/fail (P/F)
      2. Students can request letter grades instead (opt in) by April 8
      3. Faculty have the discretion to allow their students to opt in for letter grades after April 8
      4. The Registrar and Information Technology will change the setting of all courses (except those already P/F) to allow either P/F or a letter grade

      Note: While a grade of P (Pass) does not impact the GPA, a grade of F (Fail) does have an impact. In computing grade point averages, Pass (P) is not included, but a Fail (F) is always included except when a course has been repeated.

    • Guidance for Faculty

      Please see the Provost’s previous communication for initial guidance in the email archive on the bottom of this web page. The Provost and E-Learning and Instructional Support team (eLIS) will share additional information to support faculty.

      Additionally, the grading policy for Spring semester as well as Spring Term 2 was changed. Please see communication from Dean of Faculty Diana Direiter for details. The highlights are:

      1. Default grade for all classes will be pass fail (P/F)
      2. Students can request letter grades (opt in) instead by April 8
      3. Faculty have discretion to allow their students to opt in for letter grades after April 8
      4. The Registrar and Information Technology will change the setting of all courses (except those already P/F) to allow either P/F or a letter grade
    • Guidance for Staff

      Staff members are very important in supporting our students and keeping the university functioning. We have moved to an online learning format and employees are working remotely. Employees can access guides and instructions for Lesley's technology and systems on the Information Technology help portal, including Microsoft Office 365 products, online collaboration tools, software, phones, and more. Please contact it@lesley.edu with questions.

      Additionally, Lesley has purchased an enterprise site license for Zoom’s Video Conferencing software. These licenses will be available to all current faculty, staff, and students. Each user should receive an invitation email directly from Zoom to their Lesley email address. For questions or help with training, visit our resource page for more information.

    University Travel and Meeting Policies

    Contagion patterns are not well known and global hotspots are ever-changing. With that uncertainty, we need to make prudent choices to protect the health of our own community and the broader communities we belong to while continuing our educational mission.
     
    Effective immediately, and in step with new advice from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the following policies are in place.

    • Lesley-Sponsored Travel
      • We are suspending all Lesley-sponsored international travel for all students and employees.  
      • Any essential work-related domestic travel via airplane or Amtrak requires Cabinet-level approval, even if you had already obtained department approval.  
      • We encourage everyone in our community, students and employees, to weigh whether domestic travel is essential.
    • Personal Travel

      We discourage Lesley community members from personal travel to international locations. However, if you must travel to another country, please review the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page before leaving. We urge you to weigh the risks and potential consequences for yourself and others if you travel to any nation where the CDC reports “widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission” of COVID-19.

      Further, as new outbreaks occur and government travel restrictions shift, be aware that if you travel outside the United States, you may encounter difficulties in returning. If you return from a country where there is sustained transmission (Level 3) or from a U.S. outbreak location, according to the CDC, you will be asked to self-quarantine for 2 weeks. Please self-report any travel to a CDC travel advisory of Level 3 or Level 2 region or to a U.S. outbreak location to Michele Trifiro, the Director of Campus Safety and Services, at michele.trifiro@lesley.edu

    • Study Abroad Canceled for 2020-2021

      Updated August 5, 2020

      Given the pandemic’s global impact and ongoing international travel restrictions, Lesley has made the difficult decision to cancel or postpone all Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 international travel.

      This includes study abroad, exchange programs, and faculty-led programs scheduled through mid-May 2021. Programs planned for next summer will be reviewed in the spring of 2021.

      Find details about the Fall 2020 plan, which includes Study Abroad.

    About COVID-19

    Learn about symptoms, staying healthy, university resources, and other information.

    Email Communications from Lesley University

    Here is an archive of the email communications we have sent to the Lesley community regarding the Coronavirus.

    Contact Us
    Here's who to contact with regard to your concerns regarding Coronavirus and the flu.