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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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St. Joe’s announces Fall Semester Planning

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St. Joe’s plans to start classes as planned on Aug. 24. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

St. Joe’s is working towards an on-ground start for classes on Aug. 24, barring any restrictions that prevent St. Joe’s from doing so, according to a university announcement from University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D. 

“While a lot is still unknown about the pandemic’s aftermath, I can tell you that we have every intention of welcoming our community back to campus this summer and starting classes as planned on ground,” Reed wrote in the announcement. 

Although the university is working towards the initially scheduled on-ground start, the semester will not go completely back to normal. Based on caution from the university and government restrictions, there is a possibility that the university will not remain on-campus for the entirety of the fall 2020 semester. 

The university announcement shared “most likely scenarios” for how the fall 2020 semester is going to play out.

One scenario is implementing physical distancing requirements and health and safety modifications. With this, operations and instructions will be made adaptable. 

With on-campus start remaining unchanged, another scenario is to transition to virtual instruction after Thanksgiving break. The purpose: to limit the travel of community members. 

“We would also modify the term by eliminating fall break in favor of interspersed reading days,” Reed said. “Again, this is intended to limit travel and potential virus spread.” 

If government restrictions require instruction, services and advising virtually, St. Joe’s must comply. However, if able to, the university will transition to move on-ground during the semester.  

To help prepare for multiple scenarios, Reed has appointed a Preparation Task Force of university leadership led by Cheryl McConnell, Ph.D., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Cary Anderson, Ed.D., vice president of Student Life. 

“The task force is composed of University leadership and the chairs of 10 working groups,” Reed said. “The working groups are examining and developing plans for our return to work and the start of fall classes, including academic and technology development, the health and safety of our community, and student experiences.”

It was also announced that the first-year orientation program will be held virtually with online sessions on June 23, June 25, June 27 and June 30 to allow greater flexibility and predictability for incoming students and their parents.

Reed also said if conditions allow, there will be on-ground orientation experiences offered for first-year students before classes start in August.

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