Inside INdiana Business

Colleges prepare to reopen in the fall

(photo courtesy of the University of Notre Dame)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) – Three Indiana higher education institutions have announced plans to reopen their campuses in the fall. The University of Notre Dame, Grace College, and Ivy Tech Community College say they will resume on-campus classes and activities for the fall semester.

The University of Notre Dame says it will welcome students back to campus the week of August 10, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled. Instead, the university says students will forgo fall break in October and end the semester before Thanksgiving.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Notre Dame sent students home in mid-March to complete the 2019-20 spring semester via remote learning.

“By far the most complex challenge before us is the return of our students to campus for the resumption of classes in the fall semester,” University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins wrote. “Bringing our students back is in effect assembling a small city of people from many parts of the nation and the world, who may bring with them pathogens to which they have been exposed. We recognize the challenge, but we believe it is one we can meet.”

Grace College in Winona Lake intends to reopen its campus in the fall but did not provide a firm start date. In a letter from President Bill Katip, the college will continue to plan and prepare to bring students back in the fall. 

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Ivy Tech Community College says its fall semester will begin on August 24. The college says it will continue to be flexible for the safety of students and employees.

Ivy Tech is offering its summer semester courses, which begin June 8, virtually and online with the exception of some small labs that may be offered later this summer.

“Ivy Tech looks forward to students being able to return to campus and take that next step to prepare for a high-wage, high-value career,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “We are carefully balancing our plan to have a focus on safety and flexibility. Our teams continually monitor the recommendations provided by the state of Indiana and federal guidelines. Ultimately, our students’ success is the goal, while providing them the safest, most accommodating learning environment.”

Starting in August, classes will be offered in-person, online, and with hybrid options. The college has built out a robust schedule of classes that will allow students maximum flexibility including both 8- and 16-week terms.

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