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Mount St. Mary’s Plans to Resume On-Campus Classes for Fall 2020

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Mount St. Mary’s University plans to resume face-to-face instruction and on-campus classes in Fall 2020, while following social distancing requirements and other public health guidelines.

“We are fortunate to have a 1,400-acre campus coupled with small class sizes, so we believe we will be able to offer the excellent in-person educational experience for which the Mount is known,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.

The Mount has been planning for many scenarios, and campus leaders are confident that these planning efforts will provide the flexibility needed to respond to the public health situation and ensure the health and safety of students and employees on campus. In preparing for the fall semester, faculty, administrators and staff are working on planning teams in such areas as technology and our learning environment, social distancing operations, COVID-19 response planning, athletics and Seminary operations.

“The health and safety of our community and student success are the paramount principles that will be guiding our work to plan and prepare for the next academic year,” Trainor said. “Thanks to the efforts of our faculty and staff, we are well prepared to deliver on our mission to graduate ethical leaders who are inspired by a passion for learning and lead lives of significance in service to God and others.”

Among the measures expected to ensure health and safety are the requirement to wear masks in public and to regulate crowd sizes and contact with others.  The Mount’s award-winning custodial team has undergone rigorous training from an outside company on how to clean and sanitize for COVID-19, and many on the team were previously employed by long-term care medical facilities or laboratories. 

More classrooms are being outfitted with the technology needed to deliver classes simultaneously to students in the classroom and others who join remotely. It is anticipated that some students may take turns attending classes from their dorm rooms or other locations on campus to spread out as needed. Mealtimes may be staggered, and the number of people per table in the dining hall may be limited. Any required hybrid scenarios will most likely be in place for only one semester.

Mount students, who have been receiving remote instruction since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be taking final exams this week. Faculty and staff quickly made the transition to an online delivery format and have shown agility and flexibility in providing high quality courses and support services. If required by public health officials to once again provide instruction remotely, the Mount would be well prepared to temporarily shift to an online delivery approach.