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Campbellsville University preparing for 2021 spring semester amid prolonging COVID-19 pandemic

Campbellsville University preparing for 2021 spring semester amid prolonging COVID-19 pandemic
Campbellsville University’s Administration Building sits in the middle of campus and is covered in snow. (Campbellsville University Photo by Ariel C. Emberton)

By Scarlett Birge, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “There are still a lot of unknowns,” Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said about the current state of operation for Campbellsville University’s upcoming spring 2021 semester.

The university plans to run the 2021 spring semester in a similar fashion as it did for the 2020 fall semester. However, with uncertainty still surrounding the virus, constant monitoring and assessment is a necessity in order to uphold the safety of everyone involved.

“Many things are changing daily in relation to the virus,” David Walters, Healthy-at-Work officer and interim director of the Center for Global Engagement, said.

“Administration is still in the process of determining any new protocols related to COVID-19 for the spring semester,” Hedgepath said. “With so many changes occurring daily, we are waiting for the latest information from the governor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

“We are hopeful for a vaccine that will allow us to return to normal activities,” Hedgepath said. “In the meantime, we plan to return much like we did in August, always keeping an eye on the potential for remote learning.”

Several meetings have been organized between students, faculty, staff and coaches to discuss protocol that needs adjustment and to follow up on what works and what has not worked at the university during the fall semester in order to make necessary adjustments for the upcoming spring semester.

“We are meeting on a regular basis to discuss current and future considerations,” Walters said.

“We learned a lot of lessons during the fall 2020 term about quarantining and keeping student services going,” Hedgepath said.

“We are carefully reviewing and evaluating our processes and we will make adjustments as necessary,” Walters said.

Students are expected to experience campus life and learning during the 2021 spring semester in the same capacity as the 2020 fall semester.

The CU Ready Plan that was introduced in the 2020 fall semester will continue to be in effect throughout the spring. This requires all students, faculty, staff and coaches to submit a negative test result one week prior to returning to campus for the 2021 spring semester. Students traveling internationally may be required to quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.

Those needing to quarantine must report on Jan. 9, 2021 and participate in virtual classes until released by the health department.

Although no new protocol has been added in accordance to COVID-19, a few notable changes can be seen in the semester’s schedule.

In place of a spring break, three non-consecutive Tiger/Pioneer Days will be utilized in order to provide a break from classroom activities throughout the semester with the safety of the university community in mind. See accompanying story for details of the spring semester.

“We believe the spring semester will run quite smoothly. While we can’t know the specifics of the pandemic, we will do everything we can to keep students safe and move through the spring semester with as positive of an experience as possible,” said Dr. Shane Garrison, vice president for enrollment services and professor of theology.

“Even with the challenges of a pandemic, Campbellsville University holds fast to its mission and core values of academic excellence solidly grounded in the liberal arts that fosters personal growth, integrity and professional preparation within a caring environment,” Walters said.

“It is a different way of doing things but we are looking for a better spring,” Hedgepath said. “We still have much to look forward to in 2021 at CU.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.