KENOSHA, WI – As colleges and universities around the country grapple with how to safely conduct classes this fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Carthage College announced Tuesday it is planning to return to in-person, residential education this fall.
College officials announced the reopening will take place with several modifications in place including to its semester calendar, course offerings and with safety guidelines in place at its campus facilities as a way of ensuring the safety of students, faculty and staff.
“I’m thrilled that we are able to provide what looks to be our largest entering class ever with in-person education that is excellent, that is safe, and that is able to respond to any uncertainties this fall,” Carthage President John Swallow said in a news release.
The college announced Tuesday that its fall semester will begin a week earlier than originally planned and will stagger student arrival times in order to maintain proper social distancing. First-year students will arrive on campus beginning Aug. 28 and returning students will be able to arrive the following weekend.
Classes will begin on Sept. 2 and will be held in an online-only format for the first three days, the college announced in order to limit the number of students that are on campus during the first week. In-person classes will begin on Sept. 7.
To eliminate risks that come with travel, school officials said that no fall break will be built into the schedule this fall and that the final day of in-person classes will be on Nov. 24. Classes will resume remotely following the Thanksgiving break before final exams are held online Dec. 7-9.
Although the learning environment will be different, school officials are prepared to continue the college’s tradition of education.
"The Carthage faculty is well-known for excellence in teaching. That excellence, under normal circumstances, is plainly visible in our classrooms, studios, labs, performance spaces, and offices,” Provost David Timmerman said in the news release. “As we move forward in this new era, we must be able to provide that excellent education both in-person and remote, should any student need to be only virtually present at any point this semester. Our faculty is doing impressive work to prepare their courses, so our students continue to get the best education possible, no matter the circumstances.”
The school has also announced the following changes to campus life:
Carthage will implement new #StaySafeCarthage guidelines for all members of the Carthage community, as well as visitors. Those guidelines include the wearing of face masks in classes, meetings, and common areas; physical distancing; and symptom self-monitoring.
All classroom spaces have been measured for appropriate capacity and air circulation and will be reduced to 50 percent of their current capacity. Plans are in place to relocate classes to larger spaces or shift to a schedule of alternating in-person and online meeting days if necessary.
Carthage has set aside designated isolation housing for any students who become ill and must remain on campus.
Campus Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic to allow more room for pedestrians to walk in both directions, keeping an appropriate distance.
New signage will be installed throughout campus alerting the community to new #StaySafeCarthage guidelines, including new traffic patterns in buildings.
Carthage will install ultraviolet lights inside air ducts in campus buildings. Commonly used in hospitals and other public spaces, UV lights are known to help kill bacteria and viruses.