As an institution of higher education, it is our responsibility to protect our students as well as their families. As a Christian university, it is also our responsibility to love our neighbors well.
In recent days, as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have grown, it’s become clear that the best way to love our neighbors and protect our students, faculty and staff is to practice social distancing and other guidelines as outlined by public health officials as well as state and federal leaders.
On March 11, Trevecca officials announced that all face-to-face, on-campus classes would move to a remote learning format until at least March 30. Now, out of an abundance of caution and based on public health recommendations, we will move to a fully online, remote learning model for the remainder of the semester.
At Trevecca, we take our role as a caretaker seriously—to those whom we’ve been entrusted to educate as well as the neighborhoods and populations that surround our home on the Hill. Where we are able, we strive to make decisions that help to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.
We realize this is an unprecedented decision in the middle of a moment unlike any other in our nation’s—and our institution’s—history. We hope that Trevecca’s lasting legacy in this time would be that we showed grace and love to our students, their families, our faculty and staff as well as our neighbors. In this difficult time, we ask for grace from you as well. We pray that as a community and as Christians, we can love each other well today and in the days to come.
We know that this decision creates a number of questions. We’ve tried to answer a few of them:
- No academic activities will take place this week, March 16-20, for students transitioning from on-campus courses to remote learning—not March 18 as previously communicated. All online courses in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies will follow their normal schedules.
- Classes will now begin in the remote format on March 23.
- Traditional undergraduate students will continue pre-registration as scheduled, March 16-27.
- Traditional undergraduate students who are enrolled in previously scheduled online courses set to begin on March 18 should begin those courses as scheduled. Faculty members will show grace to students who don’t begin until next week.
- Students in face-to-face programs in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies will also move to remote instruction if they have not already done so. Program directors will contact students with specific instructions and details as soon as possible.
- Residential students who are not currently on campus will be given the option to retrieve personal belongings and move out by April 5. Students can sign up for a slot to pick up their belongings using this form.
- Students who cannot or do not wish to return to campus during this time may keep personal belongings on campus until further notification from Ronda Lilienthal, associate dean of students for residential life.
- Any student considering traveling to campus to retrieve belongings should stay updated on any travel restrictions. Any travel back to campus is subject to local, state and federal regulations. Please keep your personal safety and wellbeing in mind.
- Students living in residence halls or on-campus apartments will receive detailed information and instructions from their residence directors as soon as possible.
- Students who have already returned to campus or remained on campus over spring break should make plans to return to their homes or permanent residences as soon as possible. Students with extenuating circumstances should contact their resident directors or Ronda Lilienthal, associate dean of students for residential life.
- We understand that students and families have questions related to account adjustments for room and board charges. Trevecca is currently evaluating the most equitable way to determine those credits. We are monitoring legislative activities which may provide guidance and assistance in this area. We anticipate that credits will be applied at the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
- Commencement will be postponed in adherence to CDC guidelines. We hope to reschedule a ceremony at some point in the future when it is safe to do so. We want to celebrate together as a family as soon as we can. While the ceremony will not happen as scheduled, degrees will be conferred in early May.
This decision has not been easy, nor was it made without much consideration and forethought. This is not the semester any of us envisioned when we planned the 2019-2020 academic year. Please stay tuned on ways to stay connected with the Trevecca community during this time. Community is the heartbeat of Trevecca, but that heart beats in all of us, no matter where we are.
Trevecca’s mission boldly states that we prepare students for leadership and service. As we send the Trevecca family out into the world, our goal is that we all embody those words in these coming days and months, wherever we are.
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