The five official colleges and universities of The Wesleyan Church, as well as its approved seminary, are making plans for students’ returns this fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic — whether in the classroom or online.
Here are some ways faculty and staff are preparing for a 2020-2021 school year that may include some unexpected curveballs and required changes along the way.
A dedicated team has been working on a plan for resuming in-person education for the last several months, while also ensuring remote learning options are in place for those students unable to join in-person classes. Dean of Students Marc Smithers, has also been releasing a video each week detailing an aspect of student life for the fall.
According to University officials, “the IWU-Marion plan outlines policies, protocols and guidelines informing the University community of actions necessary to promote healthy behaviors.” FAQs have been created for students attending the residential campus, along with the Wildcat Safe 7 Campus Safety Guide. A virtual campus tour is offered for prospective students.
For IWU-National & Global students, regional centers have reopened. Zoom options are available for those not comfortable returning to the classroom. IWU—National & Global will remain flexible to ensure safety and security for the entire community. More information for students can be found here.
Kingswood University (KU) leadership has taken a number of steps to accommodate students, with things like early arrival for isolation before classes start, quarantine shuttle service from the airport, designated quarantine housing in the case of a positive test, and offering all courses both on campus and through remote learning to provide the flexibility to ensure students do not need to interrupt their education if they are unable to return to campus.
Information is available on the COVID-19 page pertinent to returning to classes, including prevention measures, arriving on campus, residence and campus life, and a video from President Stephen Lennox.
Through the determined efforts of faculty, staff and students, OKWU is working together to maintain a “safe and sanitary environment at all levels of our campus experience, from housing and dining facilities to athletic competitions and campus events.” For the full campus reopening plan, an FAQ page for students and parents, and continual updates, visit OKWU’s COVID-19 page.
Signage is in place across campus to enforce social distancing and classrooms are equipped for live video streaming for students who must attend virtually due to health issues. Masks are required for students and employees, as are daily temperature checks. Returning students must sign a pledge to abide by safety guidelines.
Campus facilities will undergo regular sanitization. Sanitation guards are being put in place at various offices and in areas that serve food and drink. SWU’s Residence Life Office is streamlining check-in to limit foot traffic. More details, including an FAQ guide, are on SWU website.
To accommodate students, who are unable or uncomfortable traveling, on-site courses have been transitioned to be virtual meetings. Students will still meet at their normal dates and time via Zoom. Other courses, already scheduled to be online, will move forward as scheduled. Instead of an in-person graduation ceremony, an online consecration and graduation service will be held August 22.
More information can be found here.