Dear Aims Family,
As I reflect on this past year, I am so proud of you, our College community. Despite challenge after challenge, you have taken care of one another and accomplished much under extraordinary circumstances. Thank you for so readily embracing change, adapting, and persevering.
Now that we are finally beginning to see our way out of the tumult brought on by the pandemic, it’s time to plan how we as a College move forward. Like me, I’m sure many of you are ready to reconnect and re-engage. While some things may take some time to regain equilibrium, Aims is moving forward with a plan to fully open for Fall 2021.
Why it’s important
Aims exists to serve students, and we believe that students should be able to access education and resources in the mode that best suits them. Many students learn best in person, and many programs rely on in-person instruction to even operate. This means it’s imperative to open up more in-person classes and services as soon as it is safe and feasible to do so.
I do want to emphasize that being fully operational means in-person, online, and remote classes will be offered. If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that we have the tools and capability to serve students in a variety of ways. We realize that online and hybrid classes offer much-needed flexibility for students, and they are integral to the future of higher education.
What this means logistically
I know this announcement brings with it a lot of questions, and we will address those in the coming weeks and months. We are still finalizing details and navigating the lingering uncertainty surrounding the nature of the pandemic. We will continue to utilize information provided by the CDC, federal, state, and local governments, and other health authorities to craft our plans. Given the current downward trends in COVID-19 cases and the continued rollout of vaccines, we are optimistic that we will be able to open fully this fall.
Leading up to the fall semester, we will utilize a phased approach — similar to the phased approach used last summer. Depending on job roles, this will likely look different for different teams. We acknowledge the impact the last year has had on each person’s journey, and we are working to make sure we can accommodate a balance of in-person vs. remote work where it makes sense for teams and the College. More information on teleworking agreements will come soon.
I’m thrilled at the prospect of opening fully, celebrating our return, and creating our next reality together. This is a positive step forward for our entire community! Please watch for more updates in the coming weeks. In the meantime, keep up the great work — we clearly see the light after the storm!
Dr. Leah L. Bornstein