Preparing for Fall Semester at the Mandel School

June 19, 2020

Dear Mandel School Students,

I hope that this note finds you and your family well. This is an unprecedented time as we face the challenges of dealing with COVID-19 and confronting the effects of racism that are still deeply embedded in our society. The Mandel School was created over 100 years ago to address oppression and inequity in our society. We describe ourselves and our alumni as Change Agents who are working every day to build a more just world. I am so glad that you have decided to join us at the Mandel School and be part of our mission. You are the future of the social work profession.

As you have read, Case Westen Reserve University and all in higher education are working on plans that will deliver high-quality education while maintaining the safety and health of all members of our community. I am writing today to give you information on our plans at the Mandel School. Please note there are still details that need to be worked out, but I wanted you to have the key elements of our plan.

Academic Instruction

The health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty are our top priorities. Our classrooms and all public areas have been assessed to determine their capacity given social distancing requirements. The Mandel School classrooms were designed for seminars with up to 24 participants. In the fall term, most of the classrooms will have a social-distancing designed capacity of about eight students and one instructor. Many of our courses, because of their enrollment, will be able to meet on campus every week. However, the majority of the courses will require students to participate remotely every other week. For example, in Week 1 a portion of the students will come to campus for the course while the remainder participates via Zoom. In Week 2, these groups will switch. The schedule is designed to maximize in-class participation with the instructor to the extent possible with social-distancing requirements.

All academic courses will be given in a dual-delivery format. This format assumes that some students will be in the classroom on campus while others are participating off-campus. All Mandel School classrooms have Zoom capability–they are actually the most technologically-advanced classrooms at our university. By using the dual-delivery format in all courses, we will be able to accommodate those students who are not able to come to campus because of health concerns. It is important to note that our faculty and instructors are working diligently to prepare for the dual-delivery format to ensure you receive high-quality instruction.

Mandel School Academic Calendar for On-Campus MSSA Classes

  • The first day of classes is August 24.
  • The last day of classes on campus will be November 20.
  • The final two weeks of class, November 23 - December 4, will be delivered remotely.
    • This schedule permits students to return home for the Thanksgiving holiday and not travel back to Campus.
  • The last day of remote instruction is December 4.
  • Final grades are due on December 18.

Field Education

The field education department is looking forward to welcoming all students back to field placement the week of August 31. Please consult the Field Education Calendar for important dates. Final policies regarding field education for the upcoming academic year are still in development and will be shared with you once they are available. Please continue to work directly with your assigned field faculty advisor over the summer to answer any questions that you may have regarding field placement.

The faculty and I are looking forward to welcoming you to campus in August. It will be another great year at the Mandel School where you will have the opportunity to continue to grow as Change Agents and social work leaders committed to building a more just world.


Grover C. Gilmore, PhD
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean in Applied Social Sciences