Fall 2020 Return-to-Campus Update - August 5, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves every day, we are constantly reevaluating and measuring our College’s plans, recognizing the need to be flexible and adaptable. For months, our administration and staff have been working to ensure our campus is safe and healthy for our students' return. All summer, our faculty have developed their courses to deliver in-person, remote, and hybrid formats so our students are provided with the exceptional education they have come to expect at Etown.
Fall 2020 Semester Update
After strong consideration and in consultation with medical and public health professionals, we have decided in the interest of our campus community's health and well-being, we will bring back students in a sequenced approach. The Fall 2020 semester schedule will be updated as follows:
- Momentum/Kinesis/RAs/Peer Mentor students will move-in on August 17 and will begin in-person instruction on August 24.
- First-year Honors students will move-in on August 18 and will begin in-person instruction on August 24.
- Remaining first-year and transfer students will move-in on August 19 and 20 and will begin in-person instruction on August 24.
- All other Elizabethtown College students will begin courses remotely on August 24 until their scheduled move-in date.
- All seniors and graduate (fourth and fifth-year) students will move-in on September 5 and 6 and will begin in-person instruction on September 7.
- All sophomores and juniors will move-in on September 17, 18, and 19 and begin in-person instruction on September 21.
- If students elect to learn remotely, you will be able to do so.
- All students will receive a confirmation email of their elected selections from the Office of Academic Affairs on August 10. Students will need to confirm any updates to their selections by Wednesday, August 12.
- Most sophomores, juniors, and seniors will receive a reduction in room and board costs based on their newly scheduled return-to-campus date. If for some reason, we would be required to go remote, we will prorate room and board charges as we did last semester.
- The Office of Student Life will email specific move-in dates and procedures directly to students prior to their scheduled move-in date.
- For students who are working remotely, there will not be a reduction in tuition. The College has made significant investments in ensuring that both our remote and in-person instructional experiences reflect the high educational standards at Etown.
Our Reasoning for the Sequenced Schedule
We have shared previously that the schedule is always subject to change based on the virus and its latest developments. We feel strongly that we need to bring our first-year and transfer students to campus first as they begin their college journey, participate in orientation, and acclimate to the higher education workload and environment. It was important for us to have our seniors return next as they begin their final year at Etown. Finally, we are bringing back our sophomores and juniors in our sequenced approach so we can make sure an increased density of students will not create a potential uptick in cases of the virus.
We also found in the results of our recent Fall 2020 Semester Student Survey that nearly 80% of you elected to have your education delivered in-person while 20% chose to learn remotely. Students will receive a follow-up confirmation email on Monday, August 10 to confirm both their academic and housing selections for the Fall 2020 semester.
COVID-19 Testing Procedures
Many of you have asked specifically about testing. As previously shared, all students, faculty, and staff returning to campus will complete a COVID-19 test. As students arrive on campus, students will be directed to a specific COVID-19 testing tent on campus where medical professionals will collect an oral swab sample for testing so that we have a baseline affirmation that our community is protected as we begin the semester. Within 24 to 48 hours, the student and College will be notified of the results. While waiting for those results, students will be quarantined in their residence halls. There will be an initial testing fee to students of no more than $89 placed on their student accounts. Students who experience hardship from this fee are encouraged to contact the College’s Financial Aid Office. Any further testing throughout the semester to identify and address the potential emergence of the infection early and avoid further spread through symptomatic and random testing will be funded by the College.
Please continue to check our College
COVID-19 web section
as well as our
that we are updating regularly. We also invite all students to join our student virtual Town Hall sessions tomorrow, Thursday, August 6 at 3 p.m. for all first-year, transfer, and sophomore students and at 4:30 p.m. for all juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Zoom links have been emailed to students.
Moving Etown Forward
As we move Etown forward, I want you all to know that these decisions are never made lightly. I ask that we continue to stay positive and work together as a community to create engaging and memorable experiences for our students as we face this public health crisis in our nation’s history.
Cecilia M. McCormick, J.D.