The University of Olivet has announced it will welcome students back to campus for the 2020-21 fall semester, with classes scheduled to begin on August 17.
“Our students have let us know that the reason they chose to come to The University of Olivet was because of our relationship-based environment, both in the classroom and beyond. Part of what makes a small, independent college experience so rewarding is that the student is never alone on their four-year journey. Students are guided and encouraged by faculty and staff who become more than mentors; they become family,” said The University of Olivet President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D. “We are thrilled that returning students have registered for classes, signed up for housing and are continuing to stay engaged with professors, staff members and classmates during the summer break. We are also pleased to see daily so many high school graduates choosing to attend The University of Olivet and eager to begin their college experience this fall. Our The University of Olivet family is strong.”
Working groups across campus are developing a plan that includes how to safely bring students back to campus for the residential college experience. Working groups include faculty and staff, the Barry Eaton District Health Department, other respected medical professionals and other independent colleges across the state of Michigan. The comprehensive plan will address multiple scenarios, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Recommendations regarding the academic calendar.
- Preparation to offer courses both in person and through remote instruction.
- A flexible plan that will allow the College to move to full remote learning if required at any time during the academic year.
- Recommendations for safe and healthy student social engagement activities and internship, service learning and travel abroad opportunities.
- Steps to keep the campus safe and healthy for students, guests, employees and staff.
- Recommendations on having certain employees continue to work remotely.
“Few places in the world will be coronavirus-free until a vaccine is available. To open the campus, however, we do need to be coronavirus-safe – and that is the main focus of the comprehensive plan the College is presently working on. The health and safety of the The University of Olivet family are top of mind in all of our planning. We also recognize that some faculty, staff and students will not be able to return to a campus environment until the coronavirus threat is gone; The University of Olivet will be prepared to accommodate those needs, including remotely if need be,” Corey said.
Summer classes and New Student Orientation have been moved to a virtual platform and all summer on-campus events have been canceled. Faculty and staff continue to work remotely. The College celebrated the Class of 2020 on May 16 with a virtual graduation and has pledged to honor the class with an on-campus commencement when it is deemed safe at a future date.
“Will we return to the same campus environment that we left in March? No. Will we return to a family of faculty, staff and classmates that support, love, encourage and look out for one another? Absolutely,” Corey stated. “I’ll be back. I’m looking forward to having our students back, too.”