Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Mar 12, 2021 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- The Catholic University of America has announced a return to full-time, in-person classes for the Fall 2021 semester, saying that the school’s protocols have made it possible.
“I am happy to announce that Catholic University is ready to take the next step–a return to full in-person instruction beginning Fall 2021,” said a March 10 release from university president John Garvey.
Garvey said that when COVID-19 first threatened the campus in the spring of 2020, the school had “a few goals in mind” when it responded by closing its campus and moving all classes online. “First, we sought to keep our community safe,” he said.
Later in the fall of 2020, freshmen and some transfer students were invited to campus, and the entire student body was permitted to move on campus for the spring 2021 semester. The university made tuition adjustments for students who were affected by the changes.
Garvey said that the university has adapted to the pandemic, taking safety precautions to allow for both in-person and online instruction.
“Even though many classes remained online, we were able to provide hybrid remote and in-person instruction thanks to the installation of new technology in our classrooms, the reconfiguration of our classrooms to allow for social distancing, the addition of sneeze guards, and new sanitizing protocols that provide a high level of protection against the virus,” said Garvey.
He added that the campus’s testing programs and “daily health checker” have been useful tools in monitoring “the presence of COVID on campus and keep it in check.”
Garvey acknowledged that while online classes have “many benefits,” “the Catholic University experience is one that is lived together in community – in the classroom, in the lab, in the dining hall, on the sports field, and in St. Vincent’s Chapel.”
Going into the fall 2021 semester, Garvey said that “many of the safety protocols we have developed over the past year” will remain in place, and that “the health and safety of our community remains a top priority.”
“We will also continue to encourage COVID-19 vaccination, which provides the best hope of eliminating the threat of coronavirus,” he said.
Students who “will not immediately be able to rejoin us on campus” will be granted “necessary accommodations for remote learning or teaching.”
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