President Paul J. Maurer announced today that Montreat College plans to safely resume in-person, on-campus teaching, learning, and residential life for the Fall 2020 semester.

“The faculty, staff, and students of Montreat College have done a marvelous job embracing the online learning environment this spring and created unique opportunities to build community and experience remote learning. Yet, this form of education will never be a substitute for a residential campus experience,” said President Maurer. “We are eager to safely resume on-campus courses and residential life in the fall.”

The college’s leadership and emergency preparedness teams are developing a detailed plan, in conjunction with local, state, federal, and public health guidelines, for resuming the residential campus experience in August. The planning process is dynamic, as circumstances rapidly change.

As we seek to open residentially this fall, Montreat College is working collaboratively with the other five, four-year, residential colleges and universities in Western North Carolina. There are multiple and complex medical, governmental, and financial considerations to assess. On the medical front, this consortium is working closely with the leadership of MAHEC (Mountain Area Health Education Center) to determine the best course of action. The consortium is also working with governmental leaders to be sure our efforts are collaborative and within appropriate boundaries. “This approach provides information, wisdom, and new important relationships that we don’t have by operating independently,” said President Maurer. “It is a marvelous example of a team of able leaders working together to solve a very significant challenge.”

“As a small campus community, Montreat College uniquely equipped to resume on-campus classes in the fall and still follow any recommended safety protocols,” said President Maurer. “Montreat’s leadership, student services, campus health, and campus facilities are working to implement a variety of measures including flexible scheduling, social distancing, increased sanitization, and controlled campus access. We want to provide a safe environment for the residential, Christ-centered learning community we all love at Montreat while also protecting residents in the communities in which we serve. We also know that until a vaccine is developed, some members of our campus community may not be able to risk teaching or attending in-person classes.”

While developing the plan to resume on-campus living and learning in the fall, Montreat College will also continue to offer opportunities for incoming freshmen to get engaged this summer in the form of virtual pre-orientation events. The college will announce more details in the coming days. Through these events, new students will have the opportunity to begin building community with fellow classmates.

Private campus tours are available by reservation for prospective students and their families, and the college continues to accept applications for fall enrollment. Our Office of Admissions can be contacted at 828.669.8012 or admissions@montreat.edu with any enrollment questions prospective students or their families may have.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Montreat College extended spring break and transitioned to remote learning on Monday, March 30. Most employees continue to work from home, but as an essential business, college employees who feel comfortable working on campus may choose to do so at any time.

College leadership will continue to monitor the situation and work with state and local officials to ensure the health and safety of all students and employees.