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Message from Dean Randolph to Incoming First-Year Students - July 1, 2020

Dear Incoming First-Year Student,

As the world continues to navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to share some details about the ways we in Weinberg College are preparing to welcome you for a successful first year at Northwestern. Even as we share this information, in the face of uncertainty, there is much that we know.

Our first and most important goal is to provide a stable, engaging, and strong curriculum for all of our students wherever they may be. Whether you can make your way to campus or have to begin your studies at home; whether you plan to study math, or the arts, or are thinking about a pre-health path, there will be classes that fit your needs and interests. To prioritize safety and to ensure continuity of instruction in the face of anticipated public health requirements and unanticipated interruptions, all classes will be available offered remotely in some format; this means that if you cannot attend class in person, you will be able to participate and make progress. This does not mean there will be no face-to-face interaction in some of your classes; there will be. But, make no mistake: Weinberg’s extraordinary faculty is working tirelessly, as they did in our remote Spring Quarter, to adapt our classes and methods so as to provide the same quality of instruction that we have always provided in person. This will be a great, if unusual, start to your college experience.

We want to mention one class in particular—the College Seminar—as all but a handful of Weinberg first-years will be taking it this fall. The College Seminar will be fully remote. Notably, though, your seminar instructor will also be your first academic adviser in the College and your seminar classmates will likely also be among your first friends at the university. Starting in August and continuing through the first term, your seminar instructor will help you choose classes, identify and sort through challenges, and adjust to the norms and expectations that make college different from high school. Long before you arrive on campus, your seminar will provide a rock-solid base of support on which to build your Northwestern experience. 

We expect that you have lots of questions.  How could you not? If you haven’t already, we encourage you to join the Weinberg Class of 2024 Facebook group and take part in the ongoing conversation there about opportunities and requirements specific to Weinberg College. If at any point you have a question you’d prefer not to raise on Facebook—about something private, for example, like your AP /IB scores—we hope you’ll write to weinbergfirst@northwestern.edu and someone on our College Advising team will respond ASAP.

We very much hope you and yours are in good health, and we hope you will stay safe!

Adrian Randolph, Dean
Lane Fenrich, Assistant Dean for First-Year Students
Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
Northwestern University

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