Instructional readiness

Updated: 1/21/20221

Our Academic Technology team has created FAQs, workshops, and other resources to help both faculty and students get the most out of their online and hybrid teaching and learning experiences.

A syllabus generator and additional syllabus resources are now available online for all campuses. Updates have been made to prioritize class content and utilize a Syllabus Addendum for additional information. A new Student Resources & Policy page is a one-stop resource for faculty and students containing information and links regarding student services, grading policies and important contact information. Updated COVID-19 Suggested Classroom Management guidelines and other resources are also available. For questions on syllabus resources, contact Carley Casey at

Classroom spaces
Updated: 2/24/20221

Classrooms were reconfigured to allow for students and faculty to satisfy social distancing requirements. Seating configuration allows for a minimum of 6-foot separation, measured from center of mass in accordance with CDC guidelines. Modifications to learning spaces include:

  • Closing classrooms too small to allow for social distancing
  • Implementing alternate classroom furniture configuration, to include
    • Restricting and removing seating to maintain 6-foot separation
    • Identifying available and restricted seating
  • Adding signage explaining social distancing
  • Identifying directions for one-way foot traffic
  • Limiting and identifying entrances and exits to rooms

More than 200 classrooms were reconfigured to meet social distancing requirements for our largest courses.

In order to maintain social distancing measures and accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a modified maximum capacity for each classroom was identified and posted by Facilities and Services. This reduced capacity must be strictly observed, and modifications to seating in classroom spaces are not permitted.

Our classroom spaces also provide additional protection for instructors, such as acrylic barriers, microphones, and technology to facilitate remote teaching.

To reduce congestion in buildings, instructions are posted about entry and exit paths and to discourage students gathering in hallways, lobbies, or using elevators unless necessary. Teaching spaces are disinfected regularly to reduce COVID-19 spread. In addition to disinfection by Facilities and Services crews, NMSU installed about 1,300 sanitation stations, and disinfectant wipes are available for students to clean their spaces before and after use.

For concerns with classroom layout, supplies, cleaning, or other space issues, speak with the building monitor or department head. If assistance is needed to address a problem, email and include COVID-19 in the subject line, or call the work order desk at 575-646-7114 and identify a COVID-19 related issue. 

Information about the availability and capacity of modified classroom spaces available for classes or meetings is available through the AdAstra system. 

At the Las Cruces campus, outdoor instructional spaces have been created using tents, and additional temporary shade structures are set up across campus to provide areas for students to rest, eat or study outdoors between classes while following social distancing guidelines.

In addition to outdoor areas, many indoor lobbies and spaces with seating have been modified or labeled to promote appropriate distancing. These include:

  • Ed and Harold Foreman Engineering Complex Lobby
  • Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center
    • Open Computer Lab
    • Upstairs Wireless Lounge
  • Pete V. Domenici Hall Lobby
  • Breland Hall Lobby

Tent locations are noted on our NMSU COVID 19 Las Cruces Campus Map, available on our Facilities and Services Space Planning page.


Classroom technology

About 40 classrooms on the Las Cruces campus have upgraded technology that allow classrooms to be used for hybrid synchronous online delivery. Faculty can use Zoom to broadcast their classroom sessions to students who are not physically in the classroom, as well as record the lecture for future viewing. ICT and Instructional Innovation and Quality have resources to support using Zoom and other technology in the classroom.

Computer labs at all NMSU campuses have been modified to accommodate social distancing guidelines. At the Las Cruces campus, general use labs are available in Hardman-Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center, Corbett Center Student Union, and Vista Del Monte. Hours are subject to change, but labs are scheduled to be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday beginning Jan 25. Hours and availability of other computer labs may vary.

In addition to wireless internet access available in campus buildings, AggieAir wireless hotspots are in many outdoor locations around the Las Cruces campus, including open tents throughout campus, green areas, food courts, parking lots and outdoor seating areas.


COVID-19 safety in classrooms

Faculty and instructors are empowered to ensure that students comply with mask-wearing and social distancing while in the classroom. Department heads must communicate with faculty about their rights, responsibilities and the resources available to them regarding handling confrontation during a class. 

At the start of the semester, faculty and instructors should:

  • Include “New Mexico State University COVID-19 Safety Commitment” in the course syllabus.
  • Ask each student to electronically sign the safety commitment at the beginning of the course.
  • Review face covering and social distancing requirements for the classroom during the first class.
  • Clearly state in the first class session that anyone not able to comply with COVID-19 Classroom Safe Practices must switch to a 100% online section immediately or not take the class, if not offered online.

Student compliance with COVID-safe practices has not been a problem. However, if they encounter problems, faculty and instructors should:

  • Discreetly remind any student without a mask of the policies and request they wear a mask.
  • If student refuses to wear a mask, ask the student to leave the class.
  • If non-compliant student refuses to leave, dismiss class.
  • If student continues to escalate the situation, call NMSU Police at 575-646-3311 for assistance. 

If a non-compliant student refuses to leave the class, faculty and instructors should send a follow-up report to the Office of the Dean of Students after the class using the Campus Community Incident Response Form. A printable guide to facemasks in the classroom is available, along with other printable signs for classrooms.


Instructional delivery
Updated: 1/21/2021

Adding flexibility to instructional delivery allows social distancing and provides the ability to move instruction to partially or fully online platforms, if necessary. Departments may choose to apply the in-person or hybrid model when it is pedagogically necessary to have in-person instruction and/or assessment. Examples include music lessons or ensembles, sports medicine courses and lab sections. Hybrid course delivery can be implemented in multiple ways. Some classes may rotate students through, with students assigned to attend in person on certain days and view lectures either synchronously or asynchronously on other days. This will accommodate more students in the course than social distancing would allow. If physical presence in the classroom is a preference of students, but not a requirement, departments may choose to have two cross-listed sections of the same course in which one section meets in a technology assisted classroom and the other meets synchronously online. 

Some definitions:

  • 100% online asynchronous delivery: Students complete work independently, on their own schedule, no matter what time of day. Students are given deadlines by which they need to login and complete assignments.
  • 100% online synchronous delivery: Classes occur on set schedules through remote delivery. Students and instructors are online at the same time, and lectures, discussions, and presentations take place at specific hours. All students must be online at that time in order to participate in the class.
  • Hybrid (a combination of online and in-person): Content delivery incorporates more than one modality, e.g., face-to-face and remote synchronous or asynchronous delivery. Face-to-face attendance is limited and may include alternating in-person and online synchronous or asynchronous attendance; may also provide recordings of lectures or experiential components for later reference to supplement concurrent transmission of lectures or experiential components. All students participate in all delivery modalities.
  • Flex (NMSU-Grants Campus): Students can choose whether to attend face-to-face orremotely via synchronous video conferencing tools. Face-to-face attendance is limited and may include alternating attendance options; may also provide recordings of lectures or experiential components for later reference to supplement concurrent transmission of lectures or experiential components. 

Schedule types that appear when registering for classes at include:

  • HY:Online with Req In Person Mtgs (online with required in-person meetings)
  • ONL:Online with Synchronous Mtgs (100% online with synchronous meetings)
  • WB:Online no Synchronous Mtgs (100% online asynchronous)
  • CL:Classroom/Lecture (fully in-person)
  • LB:Lab (in-person labs)
  • IND:Independent Meeting
  • PC:Practicum or Clinical
  • TD:Thesis or Dissertation

Courses listed as HY for Spring 2021 include sections in:

  • Agriculture (Economics, Agronomy, Animal Science, Environmental Science, etc.)
  • Anthropology
  • Borderland & Ethnic Studies
  • Business (Finance, Law, Management, Marketing, etc.)
  • Computer Science
  • Counseling & Educational Psychology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Clothing, Textiles & Fashion Merchandising
  • Dance
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Film & Digital Media Arts
  • Art/Art Studio
  • Astronomy
  • Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Languages
  • Music
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Education
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Theater


Note for students in clinical programs and Operations

Special precautions are required for students and faculty in clinical and other programs (such as nursing, allied health, athletic training, communication disorders, band, or student teaching). These precautions are unique to each program and are guided by the program’s accreditation or governing authority, as well as medical and public health guidance. The university will provide oversight of these arrangements as appropriate.