Saint Leo University Prepares for Fall Opening

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on August 6, 2020

Hybrid, Connected, and Online Classroom Delivery Choices Adopted to Meet Students’ Needs

Saint Leo University Prepares for Fall Opening, Offers Flexible Learning Options

Saint Leo University is preparing for a Fall Semester opening that is designed to keep students healthy and safe while being adaptable to meet their needs. In response to student requests for flexibility in attending in-person classes, Saint Leo will offer three learning options this fall. 

Students will begin moving to the Pasco County campus on August 18, and classes begin the week of August 24. All classes will be offered online following the Thanksgiving break for the last week of the term.

In the fall, Saint Leo will offer a hybrid classroom option, a connected classroom option, and a fully online option. In each option, students will take at least one course fully online to increase social distancing in general.

The hybrid option features a modified face-to-face format. Classes will be offered during a regular class period with students assigned to Group A and Group B. They will rotate attending in-person and socially distanced and remotely via Zoom video conferencing software, both delivery formats allow for appropriate social distancing.

In the connected classroom option, students will attend all classes exclusively via Zoom. This option allows students to complete their classroom experience through the university’s extensive Zoom-supported classrooms along with other students during a regularly scheduled class period.

“We listened to our students and parents, and we developed flexible options for classes,” said Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese, university president. “Our goal is to keep our students on track to complete their degree programs and offer them the best possible educational experience.”

This year, the moving-in process for students will be spread across multiple days. Students and their two allowed guests will be asked to follow recommended health and safety practices as they arrive on campus at their appointed times to move into the residence halls. International students will begin moving in on August 17, new students will move in August 18 – 20, and returning students will arrive on August 22 – 24.

In Saint Leo’s residence halls, room capacity is being decreased to allow for social distancing. Rooms that normally house three or four students will be reduced to two. Service in the Dining Hall will remain limited to students-only with limited seated. A new to-go service in the Student Community Center Boardrooms lobby at lunchtime will offer boxed meals to reduce the number of people in the Dining Hall and at our other foodservice venues. Benedict’s Coffeehouse and the Lions’ Lair also offer grab-and-go options.

Classes at Saint Leo’s education centers—located throughout Florida and in Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi—as well as those offered online also begin the week of August 24.  All Saint Leo University students, regardless of location, also may choose between the three options: hybrid classroom, connected classroom or online.

Applications are being accepted, and scholarships are available for the Fall Semester. For information, email or call (877) 588-622-2009. More information can be found at

Other key reopening notes

● Students will use a daily check-in mobile app to let staff know that they are free of fever and other COVID-19 symptoms. Faculty and staff also will have a daily check-in. Temperature-check stations will be located throughout the campus.

● Masks are required for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Social distancing practices will be in place with limited capacity allowed in classrooms, meeting spaces, offices, gymnasium, and all university locations.

● Enhanced cleaning protocols will be instituted across all Saint Leo facilities, including classrooms, offices, housing, and dining facilities, restrooms, and public spaces.

● All facilities, including the library, computer labs, and other shared spaces will be limited to no more than 50 percent occupancy to promote social distancing. Plexiglass guards are being installed at some common points of service such as cashier stations.

“The Saint Leo community is working together to provide an exceptional education to our students while keeping everyone safe,” Senese said. “Never before in our 131 years as an institution has our core value of ‘community’ been more important than it is now. We are excited to welcome our students to the new academic year, and I know that we can make it successful for all.”

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, offering nearly 60 undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs to more than 19,500 students each year. Founded in 1889 by Benedictine monks, the private, nonprofit university is known for providing values-based education to learners of all backgrounds and ages in the liberal arts tradition. Saint Leo is regionally accredited and offers a residential campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, 15 education centers in five states, and an online program for students anywhere. The university is home to more than 95,000 alumni. Learn more at



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