New academic-year preparations for Concordia began as soon as the last year was complete. President William Craft announced in June the college’s intentions to return to in-person classes in the fall after completing the previous semester online because of the global pandemic.
Staff and faculty have mobilized to rework classes, living spaces, dining, events, and co-curricular activities while upholding needs for physical distancing and additional measures to mitigate the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“This is an immense undertaking by our faculty and staff who are working in concert with our local health department, Minnesota Department of Health, and the CDC,” Craft says. “I am so pleased with the thoughtful manner in which our faculty and staff have approached this task as we create transformational learning opportunities for our students while balancing the needs for a healthy community.”
Teaching and learning at the college is being reimagined as many classes will be hybrid with both in-person instruction and online components. Many classes will be split for in-person instruction to lower the number of students in each classroom and maintain 6 feet of distancing. Residence Life has changed its model to waive the on-campus living requirement for first- and second-year students this year, giving families options to have their students live off campus. Also, more students have taken the opportunity to live in single-occupancy rooms.
Events on campus will also be different this fall as the college is limiting audiences to students, faculty, and staff who will be physically distanced. Many events will be held virtually and publicized on the calendar of events, making it possible for alumni and friends of the college to “attend” online. Cross country, football, soccer, and volleyball have been postponed until the spring following a decision from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. While the teams won’t be able to compete in the fall, they will have the opportunity to meet as a team and do limited practice to prepare them for a spring season.
Other more detailed updates of fall preparations are available on the college’s fall planning site, Onward Concordia.