Bethel University has joined the growing list of colleges and universities making changes to try to curtail the spread of coronavirus. Beginning Friday, March 13 through the end of the day Tuesday, March 17, all face-to-face classes will be canceled to allow faculty time to prepare digital instruction for the next several weeks. On Wednesday, March 18, classes resume in an online format.
Bethel University released the following statement to explain:
During times of uncertainty, our hope remains in the God who never changes and is ever-present in times of trouble (Ps. 121).
As the situation regarding COVID-19 unfolds, Bethel administrators and the Emergency Management Team have continually reviewed information from local, state and national health agencies to create and implement plans. We’ve actively followed the advice of these agencies, as well as the existing protocols of our emergency management plan. New information leads us to modify the University’s operations in order to fulfill our educational commitments and express care for students, employees and the community.
TRADITIONAL STUDENTS: Beginning Friday, March 13 through the end of the day Tuesday, March 17, all face-to-face classes are canceled to allow faculty time to prepare digital instruction for the next several weeks. On Wednesday, March 18, classes resume in an online format. Students are expected to be available during scheduled class times since faculty members may choose to hold a live, synchronous learning experience. Students in programs that require face-to-face activities (e.g., nursing clinicals, teacher education field work, internships for credit) will be contacted by faculty with more information on specific arrangements.
ADULT AND GRADUATE STUDENTS: All face-to-face classes will convert to an online format, uninterrupted, starting Monday, March 16.
At this time, the plan is to resume face-to-face classes on Tuesday, April 14, following Easter break. The class schedule will continue through April 30, with finals occurring during regular class times. Commencement is still scheduled for May 2. If there are any modifications to this plan, we will announce them by Friday, April 3.
Food service and residence halls will be open for students who elect to remain on campus. Employees will report as normal. Outdoor sports that are in season will continue as scheduled. Campus activities and events of more than 100 people will be canceled or postponed.
Regarding medical expectations, Bethel is not a healthcare facility, and while our intent is to keep students safe, there are limitations to what we can provide. Despite these limitations, a student’s vulnerability to the virus might not be reduced by leaving campus because the locations to which they travel could have a higher infection rate than here. Therefore, we will maintain campus operations and strive to support the needs of students, while honoring each student’s decision to do what is best for their situation. For students who stay on campus, there may be rare cases where Bethel removes a student from the community for health purposes.