Fall 2020 Semester 06/19/20

A Message Regarding the Fall 2020 Semester

Email sent to students: 06/19/2020

With so much unknown in the world today, please allow me to share some certainties with you.

First, Southwestern College remains committed to students and to your college experience. What is special about this College is our people – our students; our faculty, staff, and coaches; and our loyal alumni – all completely committed to each other. We are the Builder family, and we belong together, we are stronger together.

Second, we know for certain that your college experience, your education at Southwestern will be amazing and life-changing. No matter what circumstances arise in any particular semester, we will get through it together, and your years at Southwestern will be among the best of your life.

Third, we are thrilled to start the academic year this August.

While our campus is quiet right now, teams of people are working tirelessly to welcome all of our new and returning students to our campus, our residence halls, our classrooms, and our athletic facilities. I am grateful to our team, as well as our local public health experts and government and civic leaders, who have been working through complex and challenging times to prepare for the upcoming semester with diligence and care.

We expect that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future, and we are planning accordingly. We will always have an emphasis on in-person, personal interaction, instruction, and community. We will be responsible and vigilant about adopting all appropriate measures to address individual and public health imperatives.

As health and safety are always paramount, we continue to work with local public health officials and follow the state Department of Health and Environment guidelines. We will employ public health measures including face masks, physical-distancing requirements, and daily health self-assessments; we will modify our policies to limit travel and provide appropriate education; we will implement enhanced cleaning and modified dining delivery options; we will reconfigure our physical spaces and our schedule as appropriate. We will selectively utilize high-quality hybrid approaches to course delivery, particularly to accommodate those who may need to self-isolate or whose health conditions require time away from the physical classroom. Regardless of the modifications to our habits and practices, we are completely committed to providing you with the amazing Southwestern College experience that we all cherish, and that makes such a difference in all of our lives.

After reviewing our academic calendar, and considering scenarios to provide the highest probability of a healthy and full semester, we will begin our academic semester one week early on Monday, August 10, 2020, and we will complete our academic semester before Thanksgiving, with the last day of finals being Tuesday, November 24, 2020.

Additionally, the traditional Fall Break has been removed from the calendar this year, and we will hold classes on Labor Day.

These revisions to the calendar allow us to reduce the risks of mid-semester travel and maximize the likelihood that we all remain healthy and meeting in-person throughout the fall semester. We also believe this approach is the best option for the safety and well-being of our students and their families, and for our faculty and staff.

The full updated academic calendar has been posted to the Registrar's Office Academic Calendar. Please note that we will be in contact with all students to let you know your arrival date and time, inform you of the process to request changes to that date, and offer you opportunities to drop off your belongings in your residence hall room early, in the week leading up to move-in.

Southwestern College is a caring, supportive community - we are the Builder Family. I know that we will all move forward doing our best to offer each other support, understanding, and grace. I know that we will all demonstrate the Builder spirit that connects us – we care about each other, and we care for each other. This is what makes us a truly unique and special community. This is what I look forward to most, as we gather together in seven short weeks.

With my very best wishes,
Brad Andrews

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