Bethany Lutheran College
Fall 2021 Return to Campus Plan
Academic Planning- May Update
The ongoing pandemic has continued to force nearly every location where people gather to rethink and modify their daily operations. Both now and into the future, most businesses, churches, and places where people are together will need to continue to follow the guidelines of The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and more locally, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in prudent and safe planning for future operating protocols. We do this in an attempt to return “back to normal.” The world of higher education is no different, and our leadership team at Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) continues to monitor COVID information statewide, as well as in the Mankato area and BLC campus, as we seek to plan our operations for the 2021-22 academic year.
To aid in addressing the questions that may be on your mind at this time, we are sharing our tentative “Return to Campus” academic plan. While this is our current academic plan for the Fall 2021 semester, please understand that these plans can change, potentially significantly, based on a host of unknown factors. We provide this information as a tool for you, yet respect your understanding that we may need to alter these plans as needs arise.
As we did this past year, BLC will open the Fall 2021 Semester on time and in-person. BLC will follow whatever COVID mitigation guidelines may be in place next August by MDH and NCAA pertaining to instruction, living, and activities – this may include, among other measures, social distancing and the wearing of face masks. Bethany is following the possibility for changes to social distancing guidelines and the implications of this potential change.
Because Bethany operates in a residential setting, we encourage faculty, staff, students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, however we also realize the choice to receive a vaccination is an individual decision and also a matter of personal conscience. No one at Bethany should be criticized for their decision whether to be vaccinated or not.
We expect all BLC students, whether you are living on campus or you are a commuter student, to attend classes in-person beginning in August. Our current offering of Hy-flex learning was put into place for the 2020-21 academic year because Bethany could not guarantee a classroom seat for every student in every class. For the Fall 2021 Semester, we are guaranteeing a seat for every student in every class, thus all Bethany students are expected to be back on the BLC campus for in-person instruction. Attending classes via Zoom will not be an option except in the case of extreme circumstances. An approval process will be put in place for those rare exceptions when a student cannot return to campus. At this time, we expect all students to take their classes on campus and in person.
We will continue to communicate with you throughout the summer and will share additional information about our plans in early June, July, and August. Thank you for your continued patience and support, and may God continue to bless the remainder of your spring semester!
Jason H. Lowrey Ph.D.
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Bethany Lutheran College