Dear Spalding Students,

As you transition to online classes in the coming week in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, know that the university’s academic support team continues to support your success in the (virtual) classroom. While we are also adjusting to working from home, we are accustomed to working with students in an online environment. Whether it’s planning your fall schedule, or making adjustments to Session 5 as your commitments shift, please know that your Academic Support team is eager to help.

Academic Advising and Career Development services are all available completely online. Contact your advisor or email [email protected] to set up an appointment. We will set up a video chat, and we can continue to work together to address any issues or questions you have.


If you find yourself with a little extra downtime, it is a great time to make sure your resume is in great shape. Career Development is equipped to help with job-search strategies, career counseling, resume reviews and mock interviews in an online environment. Additionally, you can contact Career Development at [email protected] for a list of employers who are looking to cover increased needs related to the effects of COVID-19.

While it may be tempting to consider stepping away from school, I encourage you to stick with your classes. Having routine and normalcy is one of the best things you can do for yourself right now. As a student, you are already in the routine of attending class and turning in school work. While COVID-19 has upended my daily routines, too, I find that the more I maintain my usual routine, the better I feel.

Here are other tips for academic success during this time.

Contact your advisor before making changes

Before you drop classes or change your schedule around, talk to your advisor. We want you to stay on track with your course progression. We don’t want you to have unintended Financial Aid consequences. The current disruption to our lives is temporary, and it is our job to help you stay on track and help you meet your goals and timelines.

Consider success coaching or find an accountability buddy

Work with your advisor to map out your weeks. We are happy to review your syllabus with you and help you create a weekly plan for your assignments. Alternatively, partner with a friend or classmate and check in with them regularly to discuss progress in class.

Set time aside to do work every day

Use what would have been your regular class and study schedule to focus on your online class. Online classes require excellent time-management skills. Build your daily routine around finding time to do school work.

Set aside time NOT to do work every day

Claim time for yourself. Whether FaceTiming with friends, taking a walk or playing video games, it is important that you build time into your schedule to spend as you prefer. Take up a new hobby or interest, or tackle a project you’ve been meaning to get to for some time!

Stay in touch with your faculty

The rapid changes are stressful right now. You may have lost your job, or may be working increased hours. You or a family member may be ill. You may have limited access to technology at home. While we all want you to learn your course materials, please let your professor know what extenuating circumstances you have going on to work out a plan.

Order your textbooks early

Spalding has transitioned to a new fully online textbook store that is up and running –  –  but shipping may take a day or two.

Maintain a sense of humor

Technology won’t always work. You or your classmates may not always know exactly what you’re doing. Find the memes that address the everyday ridiculousness of our situation or create your own.

Contact us if you need help

You can access Academic Advising and Career Development by phone (502-873-4169) or email us at [email protected] or [email protected]

Stay safe and study hard!

Katherine Walker-Payne is the Director of Academic Support at Spalding University. Contact her at [email protected]

At Spalding University, a typical undergraduate student can expect the following:

**Final-exam weeks with only one or two tests to cram for.

**Opportunities to focus all your class and study time on a course you really love, or on a course you find really difficult and needs extra attention.

**A full week off every six weeks to recharge your batteries and do what you want to do.

That sounds pretty good, right?

That’s how it works all year at Spalding, which is unique from other universities in Kentucky by having a nontraditional academic schedule made up of six six-week blocks in which students typically take only one or two classes at a time.

“When I first heard about it,” Spalding sophomore health science major Ontario Hullum said, “I thought it was too good to be true.”

But it is true. Spalding was ranked by as one of the nation’s five best colleges with nontraditional schedules.

Hullum said Spalding’s schedule makes college feel less stressful.

“At other colleges, you take like five exams toward the end of a semester, and that’s real stressful and makes that whole week really hectic,” he said. “Here, you take two exams every session, and it just spreads things out.”

Spalding’s format is designed for students still to graduate in four years and get all the credits they need. Staff and faculty advisers work closely with students to help them stay on top of their requirements.

“(The six-week schedule) makes it easier for you to do your work and manage your time,” said Marcus Montgomery, a sophomore majoring in business administration. “Instead of having five classes throughout the week, you have only two at the most, and you definitely have time to do your work.”

Now that he’s accustomed to the rhythm of taking one or two classes at a time for six weeks each, Montgomery said, “I couldn’t imagine going to another school and taking like five classes for a whole semester.”

How Spalding’s block schedules work

Spalding has six six-week sessions (three per semester) during the primary academic year, plus another six-week session during the summer.

Just like at universities with traditional semester-long sessions, Spalding advises students to take an average of 15 credit hours (or essentially five classes at three credit hours each) per semester, according to Academic Support Director Katherine Walker-Payne.

With three six-week blocks per semester, that means that a typical Spalding student might have one six-week session with one class per semester and two six-week sessions with two classes per semester. (Some students take more than two classes in a session, potentially setting themselves up to graduate in less than four years.)

A typical class meets four straight days each week (Monday through Thursday) for 100 minutes, condensing more class time into a shorter period. (Another popular aspect for undergrads is that almost everyone has Fridays off.)

Junior Carly Lynch said the six-week sessions were the main reason she chose Spalding, and they’ve helped her succeed in working toward a double major in health science and psychology.

Lynch knew she wanted to pursue a career in occupational therapy, and she liked that Spalding would put her on that path while letting her focus at any given time on just one or two of her important required courses, instead of five or six at once.

“I have Anatomy and Physiology II right now, and I’m able to spend all my time on Anatomy and Physiology II and really learn the material rather than just study for a test,” she said.

Walker-Payne echoed the sentiment, saying that the Spalding system gives students “the opportunity to really immerse themselves in subject matter over a short duration of time.”

“It allows them to progress through their degree program efficiently so long as they stay on track with their courses scheduled each session,” she said. “Absolutely, it’s a great way for students to dig deep into topics and really have an opportunity for deep learning.”

Good for working students

Spalding students who have jobs said the schedule format makes it more convenient for them.

Pre-nursing major Olivia Johnson said being able to focus on one or two classes at a time makes it easier for her to have her job working the night shift at UPS.

Sophomore Brandon Cochran, who is majoring in creative writing, said he’s able to hold two jobs – in the university writing center and at a grocery store.

“I would not have that opportunity (to work) if I didn’t have these lighter class sessions (as far as number of courses being taken) that go by faster,” he said. “So if (wanting or needing a job during college) is a big priority, Spalding is definitely a good place because this is one of the few places you are going to be able to work a lot of hours and also not ruin yourself (academically), because Spalding’s class schedule is so flexible and manageable.”

Every 6 weeks, take a break

Students said they enjoy the weeklong breaks that follow the completion of each six-week session.

On break weeks, students often take a vacation, relax at home or pick up a few hours at their jobs. Students said their parents enjoy it, too, because it offers families frequent chances to reconnect.

“It’s fantastic,” Cochran said. “I’m sure everybody likes having breaks; I know I do. And we still finish on time, still have regular holidays and stuff like that. I think it’s great.”

The school year at Spalding does last a little longer than at most universities, extending into mid-June, but the breaks in between make up for it, Lynch said.

“It’s awesome,” said Lynch, who took a trip to Florida during a break week this fall. “I didn’t really understand it at first. I wondered if we would be in school for the same time as everyone else (as far as the yearly calendar), but we get out the same time as everyone else. It’s just a little later – in June – but with getting a week off every six weeks it’s worth it.”