COVID Impact on Fall Semester at Augustana

Jul 21, 2020

Fall semester will start at the usual time for Augustana College next month, but maybe with fewer students on campus. 

Provost Wendy Hilton-Morrow says some students may decide not to return, and attend classes remotely. 

 "And so all of our faculty members have been designing their courses around what's called pivot pedagogy - meaning having the most flexibility possible to pivot into whatever situation circumstances demand."

That's not just for academics - faculty are planning for smaller groups in band, orchestra, and choir, and are choosing plays that allow for social distancing by the actors. And some lab courses have been postponed. 

Hilton-Morrow says the fall calendar has also been changed, eliminating normal days-off during the semester, such as Labor Day, so that after Thanksgiving students have the option of returning to campus for the final two weeks of the semester, or completing them at home.

"And we know that any time students leave our campus community, return home, and come back that it does create some increased risk of bringing the virus back. Thankgiving in particular is a time when family might have extended family visiting, more people they'd be coming into contact with than if they were just traveling home for a weekend."

She says the college will start contacting students soon to tell them about the changes and begin to find out how many plan to return to campus and how many plan to stay home. 

The fall semester at Augustana opens on August 31st.