Coronavirus

Montreat College Fall 2020 Plans

Montreat College is excited to be able to share with you the progress that has been made in preparation for the fall semester. In August, we plan to welcome students back to our campus for in-person classes and co-curricular activities.

As our planning for the fall is detailed and covers many areas of campus life, there are many things to convey to each member of our community. Keeping our students, staff, and faculty safe has always been an essential aspect of the Montreat College experience, but given that we will continue to live and learn together in a time when there is not a COVID-19 vaccine, there will be new expectations for all our campus community, and our life together will need to look different.

This Week’s Update

Review the information below for this week’s updates concerning fall 2020. This information is provided via email and at www.montreat.edu/coronavirus to keep the campus community updated with the latest information on fall 2020 operations and procedures.

Face Coverings

Because we cannot guarantee consistent social distancing in all campus situations, faculty, staff, and students are expected to wear face coverings on campus when in public.

For Students

Students will be required to wear facial coverings at all times in classrooms, chapel, and other public work or instructional environments. Buildings will have signage indicating if a face covering is required for entry. Wearing a face covering will not be necessary when a student is alone, during strenuous exercise, or in a student’s room.

You may be turned away from a classroom, office, and/or event if you fail to wear a face covering.

For Faculty & Staff

Faculty and staff are expected to wear face coverings that cover the mouth and nose when on campus and in the presence of others or in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, bathrooms, entry/exit in buildings, etc.). You are not expected to wear a face covering when you are alone or alone in your office or workspace.

Employees are asked to supply their own face covering as it remains difficult to secure PPE, and the college would like to reserve disposable face coverings for specific job positions and uses.

Class Schedules

In order to facilitate additional cleaning between classes and limit hall congestion, the class schedule for the fall has been modified slightly to allow more time between each class. Your course schedule can be viewed in the new Montreat Access Portal (MAP) at map.montreat.edu, and all class meeting times will be updated in the coming weeks to reflect these adjustments. As previously mentioned, students will be able to participate in fall classes face-to-face, online, and in hybrid formats.

Campus Events, Activities, and Chapel

Montreat College is making plans for the fall semester with the goal of reducing exposure to and spread of COVID-19, and this includes canceling some significant events, including Homecoming and Family Weekend, and implementing changes to other campus activities.

One major change is that our bi-weekly chapel services will be shortened to 30 minutes and held outside weather permitting. Recordings will also be available for those who are unable to attend in person. Due to the limitations imposed on large gatherings, there will notbe a credit requirement for the fall 2020 semester. We will continue to worship as a community because 1) regular, communal worship is essential to a healthy human soul, and 2) we need to hear the good news of the Kingdom of God now more than ever. But you will not have to scan in and your credits will not be tracked. These changes are motivated by available guidance for configuring large venues and limiting mass gatherings to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Previous Update (June 30, 2020)

As the college continues to plan and prepare for fall 2020, we will release a new update each week with three new pieces of information about what life will look like on-campus this fall.

This week, we have three initial and important points about Montreat’s reopening plans to help you plan ahead for arriving here in the fall:

1. The fall academic calendar has been changed and breaks have been removed

The adjusted academic calendar outlined below maximizes instructional time in the early fall and minimizes the opportunities for students, as well as faculty and staff, to travel away from campus on extended breaks. For fall 2020, there will be no fall break or time off for Labor Day. This strategy should reduce exposure to and spread of coronavirus and also avoid a densely populated campus in late fall and early winter, when the potential for a significant resurgence of the virus may be highest.

  • First day of classes: Tuesday, Aug. 18
    • Classes will meet each weekday through Tuesday, Nov. 24. The college will NOT observe a fall break or time off for Labor Day.
  • Last day of face-to-face classes: Tuesday, Nov. 24
  • Thanksgiving break: Wednesday, Nov. 25-Friday, Nov. 27
  • Final week of instruction online: Monday, Nov. 30 – Friday, Dec. 4

Classes will be offered through a blend of face-to-face, online, hybrid, and modified hybrid course delivery. This will provide meaningful face-to-face interactions between faculty and students while meeting social distancing protocols and/or effective online instruction as necessary.

2. Fall athletics will continue with some modifications

With guidance from the NAIA and Appalachian Athletic Conference, fall athletics will continue with some modifications and added safety protocols including temperature checks and screening by athletic training staff and coaches; the use of hand sanitizer; social distancing when available; and accounting for proper cleaning and sanitizing of facilities and equipment. Coaches will communicate further with individual student-athletes on expectations and changes that will be implemented this fall to protect their health and safety.

No Spectators for Indoor Fall Sports – In order to maintain appropriate social distancing guidelines and protect the health of our student-athletes and our guests, Montreat College will NOT allow spectators to attend sporting events held in McAlister Gymnasium this fall. A decision concerning if spectators will be able to attend indoor winter and spring sports will be made later this fall.

3. Everyone will need to make safe choices and practice social distancing

By the end of July, markings and additional signage will be placed around campus to encourage appropriate social distancing. Admittance into certain areas on campus like Howerton Dining Hall will be limited to facilitate social distancing. All of these efforts are designed to promote safety and wellness for the campus community and to reinforce social distancing guidelines.

Future Updates

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing additional updates, like what classes will look like this fall, what co-curricular student engagement plans we have, and our health and safety processes.

Protecting the health and safety of our campus community and providing a holistic academic and co-curricular experience remain our top priorities. When we come back together, life on campus will look different and adjusting to it may take time, for all of us. We appreciate your patience and commitment to this campus community.

The last few months have shown that information and responses to new data about COVID-19 require a high level of flexibility and patience. The college will continue to provide weekly updates as additional decisions are made.

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on COVID-19 | Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services | Montreat College Faculty and Staff directory

Montreat College is closely monitoring the 2019 Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Below, you’ll find resources and information about COVID-19 as well as any communications that have been sent to the Montreat community regarding the outbreak (in chronological order, beginning with the most recent).

Everybody should continue to practice everyday preventive action to help deter the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
    • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

CARES Act Acknowledgement and Update

Montreat College signed and submitted the ​Recipient’s Funding Certification and Agreement, ​Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and received $367,997. Of our enrolled students, 526 students were eligible to participate in Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. To date, the college has distributed $39,100 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 46 students. Montreat College plans to continue distributing funds on an ongoing basis.