Our return to campus is predicated upon the guiding principle that the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is of utmost importance to the College of Social Work. We remain committed to identifying and implementing best practices related to keeping everyone well.

Please note that the information below is consistent with University guidance found here. Information associated with COVID-19 is ever-changing. Thus, the information below will be updated accordingly.   

In accordance with the University’s plan for reopening campus this fall, College of Social Work (CoSW) employees (faculty and staff) will begin a phased return to their assigned work stations beginning January 4, 2021. That means all work plans, including teaching assignments, will need to be reviewed and approved PRIOR to August 1. The health, safety, and well-being of all employees will continue to be our highest priority.

Here is a summary of key considerations for returning to campus in Spring 2021.

Spring Semester Calendar

All undergraduate and graduate social work classes will begin on January 25th and end on May 14th.  Finals are May 10th – 13th with grades due on May 17th. The academic holiday will be on March 26th with no spring break for SP21. 

Physical Space/Distancing

  • All faculty, staff, and students self-assess for symptoms daily. If you are sick or show any symptoms, STAY HOME.
  • All faculty, staff, and students in a CoSW space will be required to wear a mask unless alone in a room, while eating, drinking or exercising or when it interferes with required classroom activities.
  • Physical distancing — individuals maintaining six feet of distance — should be optimized at all times, unless required activities dictate otherwise.
  • Elevators will limit capacity in accordance with recommendations from CDC- or state-issued guidelines. Signage will be utilized to promote physical distancing.
  • Specific plans for individual rooms, halls, and areas will be developed based on area limitations and options. Occupancy in rooms should to be guided by overall room capacity. Room capacity will be posted for each “public space” room.
  • Physical health protection barriers will be utilized to reduce aerosolization spread where appropriate (e.g., plexiglass or clear plastic sneeze guards at reception areas, food services, and other areas with a high frequency of face-to-face contact).
  • Enhanced sanitation of the environment will be conducted, and adequate hand sanitizer will be provided. Plans for regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and common areas will be implemented.
  • All CoSW meetings will occur virtually, until further notice.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • CoSW will provide PPE to all CoSW faculty and staff. Students will be provided a START (Screening, Testing and Tracing to Accelerate Restart and Transition) kit with related instructions and PPE.
  • All faculty and staff must self-assess for COVID symptoms daily, according to CDC recommended guidelines.
  • Masks will be required unless individuals are alone in a room, eating, drinking, or exercising or when it interferes with required curricular activities.

Guidance for Course Instruction

Those courses that are scheduled to meet face-to-face will maintain some elements of in-person learning activity.

  • FAQ for Instructional Faculty
  • All faculty/instructors will be required to complete the student engagement form found here: https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3fUgPuoTzPhDm3H. Please note that a form needs to be completed for EACH course.
  • Despite some elements of in-person lectures, course structures will vary, depending upon the class size and classroom capacity. All classroom capacities will be limited in comparison to prior semesters in order to enforce social distancing guidelines.
  • Because class size will be limited, instructors will need to continue to offer some measure of virtual access. An example might be a class of 35 that meets T/Th may have half the class meet on Tuesday while the other half attends through Zoom. Then on Thursday, the other half will attend in person, etc.
  • Instructors will communicate with students to devise a plan based upon the course, the enrollment, and the classroom that allows maximum engagement in the class materials.
  • Faculty/staff considered at higher risk should speak with the ADASA regarding teaching assignments and ways to mitigate risk.

For specific plans associated with field education, please visit here.  

Common Health Practices

  • Anyone with a positive screen (one or more symptoms) will be instructed not to enter any campus buildings and should contact a health care provider or University Health Service for instructions on viral testing, appropriate quarantine and care.
  • Viral testing will be conducted on all individuals with symptoms or for those exposed to COVID-19-infected individuals.
  • To reduce the level of asymptomatic spread leading to new infections, initial viral testing for students will be conducted prior to or during the first week of returning to campus, with timing and specifics dependent on emerging evidence and data.
  • Viral testing will be encouraged and made available for all faculty and staff, particularly among individuals in selected groups and prioritized areas where social distancing is more challenging (e.g. individuals with high-risk exposure including recent contact with an infected individual).

Daily COVID-19 screening overview

Remote Work

In order to assess the feasibility of continued remote work plans for individual positions, CoSW employees should contact their direct supervisor. Employees and supervisors will assess the roles and responsibilities of individual positions in accordance with College needs and operations to determine employee remote work agreements. After these internal assessments, each employee will complete and submit the University’s proposal for remote work. Program directors and college administrators will work with all CoSW supervisors to assess and plan staggered employee on-site schedules to ensure social distancing practices are adequately maintained and to limit person-to-person contact within CoSW workspaces.


View UK’s Corona Virus Resources