Educating a diverse population in the liberal arts

For personal, professional and global responsibility

In the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame

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Notre Dame College has every intent to open the 2020-2021 academic year during the fall semester with students on campus and is introducing its Falcon Flex academic model to achieve this goal.

The Falcon Flex model for the fall 2020 semester will blend in-person, active participation and learning in classrooms with remote, online instruction.  The plan was developed to mitigate the risks to student, faculty and staff of exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

In the classroom and other academic spaces, risk mitigation will be achieved in several ways, including encouraging students to be aware of their health status, encouraging and maintaining social distancing, mandating the wearing of face masks by students and decreasing classroom occupancy.

‘High Touch’ in a Touchless Environment

The Falcon Flex academic model is designed to offer “high touch” educational experiences in a touchless environment. This approach blends in-person, face-to-face classroom instruction with synchronous—that is, live and in real-time—remote instruction. While all students will engage in active participation and learning in each live classroom session, only half the students will attend each class session in person while the other half of the class participates online.

This synchronous approach is key to enhancing student engagement in the course, allowing students to interact with the instructor and each other. All courses will be built to support this delivery method and would support a quick change to a synchronous, fully remote learning model if circumstances necessitate it.

Higher Tech in the Learning Environment

To support Falcon Flex, classrooms will be upgraded to include high quality video cameras, microphones, and speakers to engage remote students. In addition, there will be safe and clean computer laboratories, locations where students can borrow a laptop computer as well as access an upgraded wi-fi and network speeds across campus

Faculty will have many opportunities to explore technologies utilized in Falcon Flex to maximize student engagement and the classroom experience, too.

Notre Dame also is planning for robust tutoring, residence hall, athletic and other campus activities while taking physical distancing and other precautions into consideration.

Highly Flexible Academic Calendar

The fall semester academic calendar also has been updated as part of the Falcon Flex model. The onsite fall semester at Notre Dame starts on Monday, August 31, as courses in the College’s online term D1. Classes will be held on Labor Day and also on what has been Notre Dame’s fall break, two days in October. These changes allow the College to eliminate final exam week, incorporating those assessments into the final week of classes, and to end the semester early on Friday, December 11.

Details of the academic calendar and Falcon Flex model are available online.

Contact Sandy Grassman, interim dean of academic affairs at with questions regarding fall semester classes and academics.

For information on residence and the student life experience, contact Tera Johnson, dean of students at

New and returning student-athlete or performing arts students, need to connect with their coaches or advisors.

June 2020

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact