Westminster College to hold classes on campus in August

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Westminster College said they will be resuming in-person instruction on campus for Fall semester with an adjusted academic calendar along with established health and safety protocols.

College leaders say they have developed operational plans for the Fall with small classes as the norm on campus. Campus leaders added that they are following  CDC guidelines for higher education and the Utah Leads Together plan with August falling in the stabilization and recovery timeframes.

Campus leaders have reportedly also taken into consideration Utah’s case numbers and low vulnerability. They say the health of students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost importance.

The college is asking the Westminster community and their neighbors to follow safety requirements when coming to campus.

Everyone on the Westminster campus is expected to follow health and safety measures including face-covering requirements for those physically able to comply, social distancing, and proper hygiene, according to campus leaders. They say specific classroom, dining and residential hall protocols are being developed.

Campus leaders say Westminster’s Fall Semester will begin as previously scheduled on August 19, 2020. However, the Fall break has been removed from the academic calendar enabling the semester to end early on December 4, 2020. The last week of classes, between Thanksgiving and Dec. 4, is likely to be held remotely.

This approach reduces the risk of illness just as the flu season begins by minimizing travel for their community, according to campus leaders.

Campus leaders say while some aspects of campus life will look different in the early phases of reopening, the college is committed to delivering the Westminster experience to their student’s wants. 

“It was clear after abruptly moving to remote instruction in the spring that our students missed parts of the Westminster experience that they have come to expect and love. They need places to live, learn, work and play safely in as supportive and challenging an environment as is possible,” Bethami A. Dobkin, Westminster College president said. “Our careful planning includes safety and flexibility to shift back to more remote work and learning if needed.”

Westminster officials say they will continue to monitor national, state and local developments, guidance from health organizations, and the decisions of higher education systems and institutions around the country.

Read Westminster College coronavirus updates and guidelines.

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