Catawba College Plans More In-Person Classes, Events for Fall Semester; Free Tuition for 7 Hours of Summer School

Catawba College announced plans to begin its fall 2021 semester on Aug. 18 under limited COVID-19 restrictions, with registration now open. A fully on-campus experience is planned for Day Students, and the College will follow a more typical Academic Calendar, including breaks and holidays, following...

Catawba College announced plans to begin its fall 2021 semester on Aug. 18 under limited COVID-19 restrictions, with registration now open. A fully on-campus experience is planned for Day Students, and the College will follow a more typical Academic Calendar, including breaks and holidays, following recommendations and guidelines from local and state authorities, the Center for Disease Control, and strategies being deployed at other colleges and universities.

Dr. Constance Rogers-Lowery, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, said that the College also sought input of stakeholders from across the campus in planning for the next academic year. Catawba also plans an enhanced campus engagement for Distance and Online Education students.

As part of the plan, new and returning students can take up to seven hours of free college credits during the summer semester beginning May 19 with tuition fully covered by a grant, scholarship, or credit. A selection of general education, major, and elective courses is being offered. Students are asked to register as soon as possible to reserve their spaces.

The College plans to allow for more field trips, clinical rotations, performances, recitals, and other experiences inside and outside of the classroom that make Catawba courses unique learning experiences, Dr. Lowery said. Performing Arts programs will offer stage performances and recitals, with options for audiences to watch in person and virtually.

Internships, off-campus service projects, and course-related overnight travel (for example, international trips beginning in Spring 2022) will be encouraged to the extent possible while following the guidance of local, state, and national authorities.

Dr. Lowery added: "We are collaborating with our major regional healthcare providers, Novant Health and Atrium Health, to provide our campus community with a healthy and safe environment. As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will continually revisit our plans and adjust to protect the health and well-being of our campus community of learners."

The majority of courses for Day Students will be taught in person, with fewer online or hybrid courses. Distance and Online Education and Graduate students will continue to have access to online courses.

Students are encouraged tor register for Fall Semester as soon as possible to secure their class schedule, and to assist the College in planning space accommodations that allow for proper physical distancing for each class. Students must register online, with guidance from their advisor as needed.  As the COVID-19 situation is monitored, students will be informed of necessary changes to the calendar.

The College will continue to maintain physical distancing in classrooms, theaters, lecture halls, laboratories, and studios; however, occupancy will be increased in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local/state health departments.

Other plans include:

  • Residence halls at near full capacity, while maintaining a limited number of rooms for quarantine or isolation, in the event that they are needed. Housing applications are now available for the fall for returning students. The deadline to complete the application is April 16.
  • Dine-in and take-out options for residential and commuter students at the cafeteria and Blue 51 food court.
  • More opportunities for students to engage in person in student life programming, club activities, performances and recitals, and recreational options.
  • Admissions events, tours, and travel schedule to resume fully, as Catawba welcomes and meets prospective students and families on and off campus.
  • Catawba Athletics practice and competition as approved by NCAA guidelines.

Dr. Lowery said that the College encourages students, employees, and others in the campus community to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. An on-campus vaccination clinic will be held for students and employees on April 30.

The College will continue to provide rapid-testing and screening on campus. Additional details for the Fall Semester will be provided during the summer.

"To mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 on campus, we will continue to work together as a community to adhere to public health recommendations for hygiene, personal protection, and physical distancing," she said.

"We will continue daily screening procedures for presence of symptoms indicative of COVID-19. If you are experiencing any symptoms, we want you to stay home or self-isolate."

Class sizes may be adjusted, based on recommendations for safe occupancy and physical distancing. Additionally, the College will continue to host some classes in larger venues, including outdoor spaces.

Enhanced housekeeping procedures will continue, with restrooms and cleaned according to CDC guidelines, and high-touch objects (such as doorknobs and handrails) cleaned with greater frequency. Additional stations for hand sanitizing are available in all buildings. Doors, staircases, and hallways may be marked with directional signage to help with flow of foot traffic and allow for physical distancing.

The College may continue to require that all campus members wear masks in hallways, common areas, classrooms, and other indicated areas. Masks are not required in outdoor and personal areas.

The Catawba Proctor Health Center is staffed by two registered nurses and offers on-campus physician hours for our students.

"Over the coming weeks and months, we will communicate with students and families and keep them up to date with the latest information and planning," she said. "One lesson from COVID-19 is that we have to continue to be flexible and creative as we deal with the challenges and hardships that the pandemic presents all of us. However, just as we did this year, the Catawba family will work together to provide everyone a safe and healthy educational environment."

Dr. Lowery thanked each member of Catawba College family for their perseverance, creativity, and dedication over the past year. "The pandemic has been difficult and has changed so many elements of a 'normal' life, including the experience you have in College," she said. "However, the community rallied together in a truly inspiring way. We are headed toward the completion of a successful year of staying together on campus, concluding with an in-person graduation."

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