(Hammond and Westville, IN). – Purdue University Northwest (PNW) today shared with students, faculty and staff plans for welcoming students back, in person and virtually, for the fall 2020 semester.
“These past few months have been very challenging and we all are excited to begin the new semester together,” said Chancellor Thomas L. Keon. “We thank you for your perseverance, dedication, and hard work during the spring semester and throughout the summer. As a campus community, it is all of our responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe.”
A message to the PNW community outlined new protocols and procedures focused on protecting health and safety. The guidelines are based on several months of work by PNW’s Safe Return to Campus Task Force, which assessed all aspects of the pandemic’s impact to the higher education environment and provided recommendations guided by best practices and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Our goal is to ensure students continue to gain the enriching experiences they expect from a PNW education this fall,” said Kenneth C. Holford, provost and vice-chancellor of Academic Affairs. “Faculty are preparing to offer engaging learning experiences whether students take courses in face-to-face, hybrid, virtual or 100% online formats.”
The guidelines for the PNW campuses include:
- As previously announced, PNW plans to start the fall semester, as scheduled, on Aug. 24 and will have the usual breaks for Labor Day (Sept. 7), Fall Break (Oct. 12-13) and Thanksgiving Break (Nov. 25-28). Finals week is Dec. 14-19.
- Updates to the course schedule are complete. Students who are registered for fall will receive an email directly from the Registrar’s office next week. Students who are not yet registered, or those interested in applying to PNW for fall are encouraged to check the online schedule, where they can browse courses and view the updated formats, instructors and locations.
- Student-facing offices will resume in-person, on-campus hours beginning Aug. 10.
- All faculty, staff and students are required to complete a short learning module that reminds participants of their collective responsibilities to help keep themselves and their community healthy and safe. The training covers proper area sanitization practices, proper hand washing and how to safely wear a face covering.
- Face coverings are required on campus, which is a PNW protocol. Every campus member will receive two cloth, reusable face coverings from PNW.
- Social distancing has become the regular and safest practice and PNW has adjusted public spaces to keep our community as safe as possible. We have repurposed some larger spaces on both campuses to be used as classrooms allowing for greater social distancing, including Alumni Hall in the Student Union and Library on our Hammond Campus and the Great Hall in the Dworkin Center on our Westville Campus.
- Classrooms, dining areas, bathrooms, public spaces, and office areas will be regularly cleaned and disinfected. PNW has instituted COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Hand sanitizer stations have been added throughout the campuses.
- All on-campus camps and conferences have been canceled until 2021.
- A guest policy has been implemented.
- As an additional measure to protect health and safety, PNW will be adding a pre-screening application to the PNW mobile application. Using the PNW Daily Self Screen function via the PNW app on a smartphone, students, faculty, staff and visitors can pre-screen themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, and are asked to not come to campus if they have any symptom, even if mild.
- PNW Housing has an extensive plan for keeping residents safe. Students who have rooms reserved in University Village for fall are receiving information about room assignments and move-in. We have a plan for quarantine and isolation of residential students should the need arise.
- A form on the university website offers an opportunity for any individual with questions or concerns about PNW’s COVID-19 response to provide feedback.
PNW will continue to monitor local, state and national conditions and follow public health guidelines as the pandemic situation evolves. Updates will be provided via the PNW Safe Return to Campus website.