W&J Fall 2020 Reopening Plans

Protecting. Adapting. Thriving.

Washington & Jefferson College plans to reopen the campus for classes and residents at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester. We are fully committed to taking all possible precautions to maintain a safe environment while providing students with the holistic, in-person experience that is so critical to our mission. Recognizing that no institution can eliminate all risk while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our plan is informed by the best available guidance from the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, American College Health Association, and local healthcare partners. It will be updated as necessary to reflect any new guidelines or restrictions that may be recommended in response to a future resurgence of the coronavirus.

This preliminary plan covers most aspects of our comprehensive approach to resuming campus operations this fall. The W&J COVID-19 Response Team began meeting in March to plan for a wide range of future scenarios, and more recently expanded this work with the appointment of several subcommittees. We have collaborated closely with many other colleges and universities, as well as experts in relevant fields, to develop the best practices we have adopted. As our plan was drafted, we sought input from leaders of our board of trustees, our faculty, and our student body. All decisions were made with the following priorities at the forefront:

  • 1 Ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.
  • 2 Maintain continuity and quality of instruction for the greatest number of students.
  • 3 Provide a holistically developmental experience to the greatest number of students.
  • 4 Sustain essential operations.
  • 5 Safeguard the college’s financial stability and ability to compete.
  • 6 Support a culture of trust and shared commitment to continuous adaptive change.

As the summer unfolds and the Fall semester resumes, you can expect some of our policies and procedures to evolve based on our ongoing assessment of effectiveness and any changes in the external environment. The COVID-19 section of the W&J website will be kept up to date to provide accurate and timely information. We will also continue the practice of communicating updates by email. Therefore, it will be important for you to continue to monitor your W&J email throughout the summer.

Fall 2020 Timeline

  • August 17

    Classes begin

  • September 7

    Labor Day - classes held

  • November 17

    Classes end

  • November 18

    Reading day

  • November 19-24

    Final Exams

These modifications were made in consultation with faculty leaders and the Curriculum and Program Committee. We will determine and communicate plans for JayTerm prior to the registration period. At this point, we anticipate our Spring calendar will be in place, as planned.

More Information about the Fall 2020 Semester

Prior to returning to campus, each member of the W&J community will sign a Community Responsibility Statement agreeing to monitor one’s health and to follow the guidelines set forth by the College designed to promote the safety and security of our collective community. This document is currently being prepared. Our decisions about safety precautions (social distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, etc.) will be governed by CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines. An addendum to the Student Code of Conduct will be posted and distributed to include modified policies for the Fall 2020 semester.

All community members and guests must be diligent in protecting the health and safety of themselves and others. We believe compliance with these expectations is possible because of our shared commitment to uncommon integrity and mutual respect. Students, faculty, and staff will be provided with instructions and expectations for health monitoring (temperature and symptoms) and management, as well as methods for contact tracing and self-quarantine. Students will have the option to quarantine in designated spaces on campus (two buildings are set aside solely for this purpose) or by returning home/leaving campus. If a student chooses to leave, they may return to campus once they have recovered and are cleared medically. Faculty and staff with symptoms or a positive test for illness will be expected to quarantine at home.

Based on the advice and counsel of our healthcare advisor and the Pennsylvania Department of Health Washington County State Health Center, we plan to require symptomatic members of the community to be tested at Washington Hospital and local medical clinics. This testing will be conducted by local off-campus providers and is covered by insurance. This plan ensures that the Department of Health will be notified and will subsequently monitor contact tracing and notification of all required parties, as is required by law.

Students will be asked to voluntarily self-quarantine for a minimum of 10 days prior to arrival on campus.

We are aware that some students and employees may not be able to physically be on campus for health-related reasons. To that end, students with a documented medical need for an exemption will be able to apply for a housing exemption and participate in classes and student activities remotely, to the extent possible.

We have also begun working individually with faculty members to make any needed accommodations for remote teaching, and with staff members for whom it may not be possible to work on campus. This work is ongoing. Faculty and staff who may need an accommodation should contact HR if they have not already done so. Students, faculty and staff who are cleared for remote instruction or to work remotely will not be permitted to come to campus without prior approval.

Prior to the start of the semester, we will share more details about new technology and identify any courses that cannot be offered online. Making courses available for remote learners, to the extent possible, will also ensure that on-campus students can keep pace with their classes if unable to attend temporarily for health reasons. We are mindful, as well, that W&J will be much better prepared if a change in the public health situation again forces the college to revert to all remote instruction.

Since we moved to online instruction in March, deep cleanings for all our academic and administrative buildings has been completed. Specific attention has been given to cleaning and sanitizing offices, classrooms and high traffic areas.

We implemented a 7-step cleaning method for uniformity and standardization to our processes. This is meant to provide the same high-quality cleaning standards in all areas of campus. Cintas is laundering, sanitizing, and delivering fresh cleaning cloths and mops each week to prevent any cross-contamination or improper sanitization. Ecolab is now our provider of cleaning supplies, which includes an EPA certified disinfectant that has reduced the required dwell time from 10 minutes to 2 minutes. We are securing several electrostatic sprayers for applying disinfectants. These devices have been praised for their ability to provide even coverage to areas that are typically tough to reach with traditional spray bottles, i.e. back sides of handrails, doorknobs, faucets, etc.

The cleaning processes at W&J have been re-engineered through new cleaning techniques, supplies and equipment to achieve greater effectiveness. Sanitation frequency is increased from once per day to three times per day in Admissions, Campus and Public Safety, the Campus Center, the Commons, the Hub, the Clark Family Library, the Lodge, the Ross Family Recreation Center and Henry Gym, and the Tech Center. Frequency of cleaning is doubled throughout the rest of campus. Each building will have a checklist provided to the custodians to reference cleaning methods and frequencies for daily and weekly cleaning tasks. In addition to the cleaning methods, we will also be using the Maximo work order system to track and monitor the maintenance of our HVAC systems. This will include the changing of necessary filters in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines and CDC recommendations.

We are currently preparing plans for physical distancing around campus, including classrooms, that will include placing seats six feet apart. Other areas on campus will also be arranged to permit physical distancing. Masks will be required except when an individual is in a private space.  

Students in residence will be required to complete a questionnaire to assist them with discussing sharing space safely, use of the room, etc. These precautions will be standard at nearly all U.S. colleges and universities and are considered the best practices for preventing the spread of illness. 

Campus visitors will be expected to follow the guidelines of the campus community (masks, physical distancing, etc.).  

Prospective student/parent visitors should work through Admission to make an appointment to visit campus. They will be advised of the campus guidelines and other matters related to their visit. No overnight visits will be permitted until guest are permitted in residence halls. 

Visitors will not be permitted in the residence halls. Students enrolled at W&J, but not living on campus, are considered visitors. 

FAQ

Will the academic calendar be different in the Fall?

Classes will begin Monday, August 17th and the term will end Tuesday, November 17th. To accommodate required contact hours and to minimize travel away from campus, classes will be held on Labor Day and the Fall Break will be eliminated. Reading Day is scheduled for Wednesday, November 18th and final exams will begin on Thursday, November 19th and end on Tuesday, November 24th. These changes also allow us to complete the term prior to a possible second wave of the virus.

How will courses be delivered?
  • Courses will be delivered in person; classrooms will be utilized and maintained based on CDC and DOH guidelines for safety for classroom settings (physical distancing and cleaning). Numbers of seats, based on physical distancing, have been determined for each classroom. As such, courses may have a limited number of students permitted in the classroom, due to implementing appropriate social distancing. If that is the case, a portion of the class may attend virtually on some days.
  • We are aware that some students and faculty may not be able to physically be on campus for health-related reasons. To that end, students with a documented need for an accommodation may apply for a housing exemption and participate in classes and student activities remotely, to the extent possible.
  • Remote teaching will be provided for students participating in class remotely and in courses in which faculty are teaching remotely. Students, faculty and staff who are cleared for remote instruction or to work remotely will not be permitted to come to campus without prior approval.
How will the College ensure that all courses, regardless of instruction method, are robust?

The administration, staff and faculty are working to provide the best possible learning experience for our students both in the traditional classroom and remotely. The College is investigating technology platforms to ensure that students who are learning remotely or whose instructor is teaching remotely are offered an appropriate learning experience. We are working to implement new technology and provide training for faculty, staff and students.

What is the process if I need to complete the fall term remotely?

Students will be able to transition to remote learning at any time during the semester, should they need to. They will contact Student Life to inform them of the change and to work out move out plans, if applicable.

What support will be in place for technology needs such as internet access or equipment?

To the extent possible, we will work with students who need to study remotely to support their technology needs.

Will JayTerm be offered this winter?

We will determine and communicate plans for JayTerm prior to the registration period.

Will I be able to take my course Pass/Fail again in the Fall?

We plan to use our standard grading options for the Fall 2020 semester.

Will classes resume on campus for spring semester?

We anticipate classes resuming on campus for the spring semester. We will follow public health guidelines in determining plans for the spring semester.

How will academic advising be impacted?

Academic advising will continue to be an integral part of being a W&J student. During the Fall semester, academic advising may be done via MS Teams meetings regardless of whether a student is on campus or studying remotely. Individual advising appointments may also occur in person with social distancing and the wearing of face masks if the student and the professor are comfortable doing so. More information will be provided prior to the advising period. A student should feel free to contact their academic advisor whenever they need assistance.

How will office hours be held?

Office hours can be held in the mode that both student and professor are most comfortable. In person meetings can take place with the use of social distancing and wearing face masks. Office hours can also be held by utilizing our campus MS Teams platform.

What do I do if I need an academic accommodation?

Students who need an academic accommodation should contact Richard Barber, Director of Academic Success (rbarber@washjeff.edu).

Are there any courses that can’t be completed remotely?

We are currently reviewing course offerings to determine if any courses can’t be completely remotely. We will make a determination in the near future and communicate this information to students registered for any classes impacted.

How will classrooms be set up?

Classrooms have been evaluated to ensure accurate capacity of each classroom while adhering to physical distancing. If necessary, furniture will be moved or removed to ensure the appropriate measures are in place. The number of students permitted in classrooms will be limited. The Remote Learning 2.0 workgroup is planning for this limitation and the Registrar’s Office will be working with department chairs to reassign classrooms to allow for maximum in person attendance and to the extent possible.

Why are we starting the semester early and cancelling fall break?

The new calendar will allow us to complete the semester before Thanksgiving. This new end date avoids the risk of students and employees traveling throughout the country over Thanksgiving and possibly being exposed to Coronavirus, then returning to campus and exposing others.

Will support services be available to remote learners?

Yes, all support services including tutoring, counseling, and career services will be available remotely.

Is there a chance we will need to return to online classes?

There is always a chance that conditions will change. We will be following CDC and PA Department of Health recommendations. The College will remain constantly alert for changing conditions that impact our campus.

Will any classes be offered online?

Yes, a few classes will be offered online. We expect that most classes will be taught face to face.

Will JayTerm classes be held online or in person?

Decisions about JayTerm have not yet been made.

Will student activities and student organizations continue in the fall term?

Student activities and student organizations will continue to be active in the fall. Leaders will incorporate social distancing practices for health and safety.

Can commuting students stay on campus after class?

Students who are commuting to campus for classes may fully utilize the shared public areas that are available to study before or after class. Commuters are considered visitors to campus and may not enter the residence halls; the Commuter Lounge will be closed for the fall semester given the limited capacity of the space.

If I plan to study remotely, can I change my mind in the middle of the semester and join classes on campus and reside in a residence hall?

If you plan to study remotely for the fall term you need to continue studying remotely for the entirety of the semester.

How will orientation be impacted?

Orientation will be offered in person for residential students, and virtually for students studying remotely in the fall.

Will the college hold its traditional matriculation ceremony?

Yes, Matriculation is scheduled for Sunday, August 16. Given the need to provide social distance, students, and W&J faculty and staff members will be present. Parents, family members and friends will be able to watch the ceremony via live stream.

Which athletic facilities will be available to the campus community?

The James David Ross Recreation Center and Eaton Fitness Center will both be available to students living on campus. Social distancing guidelines will be in place and athletic equipment (basketballs, soccer balls, ropes, etc.) will be provided by students using the facility.

Rules (occupancy, duration of stay, physical distancing) for the Eaton Fitness Center will be developed and posted to guide student use of the facility. Supplies will be available on-site to disinfect equipment before and after use; the facilities will be cleaned several times throughout each day.

The Henry Memorial Pool will not be available for open swim hours for the Fall 2020 semester; usage will be restricted to varsity sports teams. Salvitti Family Gymnasium usage will be limited to varsity practices and games only.

How will classrooms be adjusted to ensure social distancing?

Classrooms have been evaluated to ensure accurate capacity of each classroom while adhering to physical distancing. If necessary, furniture will be moved or removed to ensure the appropriate measures are in place. The number of students permitted in classrooms will be limited. The Remote Learning 2.0 workgroup is planning for this limitation and the Registrar’s Office will be working with department chairs to reassign classrooms to allow for maximum in person attendance and to the extent possible.

What precautions are being taken to ensure proper cleaning and sanitization of classrooms and public spaces?

Since we moved to online instruction in March, deep cleanings for all our academic and administrative buildings has been completed. Specific attention has been given to cleaning and sanitizing offices, classrooms and high traffic areas.

We implemented a 7-step cleaning method for uniformity and standardization to our processes. This is meant to provide the same high-quality cleaning standards in all areas of campus. Cintas is laundering, sanitizing, and delivering fresh cleaning cloths and mops each week to prevent any cross-contamination or improper sanitization. Ecolab is now our provider of cleaning supplies, which includes an EPA certified disinfectant that has reduced the required dwell time from 10 minutes to 2 minutes. We are securing several electrostatic sprayers for applying disinfectants. These devices have been praised for their ability to provide even coverage to areas that are typically tough to reach with traditional spray bottles, i.e. back sides of handrails, doorknobs, faucets, etc.

The cleaning processes at W&J have been re-engineered through new cleaning techniques, supplies and equipment to achieve greater effectiveness. Sanitation frequency is increased from once per day to three times per day in Admissions, Campus and Public Safety, the Campus Center, the Commons, the Hub, the Clark Family Library, the Lodge, the Ross Family Recreation Center and Henry Gym, and the Tech Center. Frequency of cleaning is doubled throughout the rest of campus. Each building will have a checklist provided to the custodians to reference cleaning methods and frequencies for daily and weekly cleaning tasks. In addition to the cleaning methods, we will also be using the Maximo work order system to track and monitor the maintenance of our HVAC systems. This will include the changing of necessary filters in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines and CDC recommendations.

What precautions are being taken to allow for social distancing for workspaces?

Maintain at least six feet of distance from co-workers and between workspaces where possible. Face masks must be worn while in a shared workspace. Limit or eliminate sharing of work materials.

Will the Clark Family library be open?

Yes, the Clark Family library will be open and will operate at half capacity with social distancing and mask wearing. Hours may be limited and some services may be impacted.

Will we install plexiglass in any locations on campus?

We are currently working with a company to evaluate the campus and determine the appropriate health and safety signage as well as where plexiglass will be installed to ensure safety. Upon complete evaluation, the appropriate measures will be implemented.

Can I use the athletic facilities and the Eaton Fitness Center?
How will we manage social distancing in elevators?

One person should use the elevator at a time, with the exception of people who live in proximity (roommates, floormates, etc.). Masks should be worn in elevators. If you utilize the elevator, you are encouraged to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing the elevator.

What precautions are being taken regarding air ventilation in campus buildings?

We are currently evaluating the ventilation of our campus buildings to determine the appropriate health and safety measures that can be taken. Upon complete evaluation, the appropriate measures will be implemented.

Will large events be held on campus?

We will follow CDC and PA DOH guidelines to determine whether and how we can hold various sized events. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Will performing arts and cultural events take place in the fall?

To the extent that we are able to hold events following health and safety guidelines, we will do so.

Will computer labs be open?

Computers labs will be available at half capacity. Cleaning supplies will be available in each computer lab so that students can sanitize keyboards and workspaces while using the facility.

Can I meet with Career Services or my advisor?

Meetings with a member of Career Services or your advisor can be held in the mode that both student and the staff or faculty member are most comfortable. In person meetings can take place with the use of social distancing and wearing face masks. Office hours can also be held by utilizing our campus MS Teams platform.

What do I do if I need to work remotely?

We realize that some of our employees may need to work remotely for health-related reasons involving themselves or others within their household.

If you fall into this category, please contact Sharon Kolesar, Director of Human Resources, to arrange a confidential conversation about your potential need for a reasonable accommodation due to health-related reasons. Sharon can be reached by email at skolesar@washjeff.edu or by telephone at 724-503-1001, Ext. 3539.

Is college-related travel permitted?

College related essential travel is permitted. This includes recruitment and fundraising travel. Consideration for other travel will be made on a case my case basis, by the VP in each area.

What approach is being taken for faculty and staff to return to campus?

Various safety protocols across the campus are being instituted, including health screening procedures, personal protective equipment procurement, cleaning and sanitization, physical distancing, visitor contact protocols, and information regarding employee health and response to positive COVID-19 cases and related symptoms. Each campus office is developing a staggered return to work process for staff to ensure that we are phasing people back into the workplace safely. The college will continue to provide additional communication on all details in the coming weeks.

Will we follow our current health and leave policy?

Yes, W&J will continue to provide the health and leave policy that we currently have in place. 

What if I have a condition that puts me at higher risk of contracting COVID-19?

If you fall into this category, please contact Sharon Kolesar, Director of Human Resources, to arrange a confidential conversation about your potential need for a reasonable accommodation due to health-related reasons. Sharon can be reached by email at skolesar@washjeff.edu or by telephone at 724-503-1001, Ext. 3539.

Will W&J College provide masks and personal protective equipment?

The College will provide a W&J-branded reusable mask to each employee. Additional disposable masks will also be made available for faculty and staff.

Can meetings be held in person?

In person meeting should be limited to small groups and held at the comfort level of those involved. Physical distancing and wearing masks are required at all in person meetings. At this time, we encourage meetings to be held via an online platform whenever possible.

Can the college guarantee that I will not be exposed to COVID-19 while on campus?

The College is following the guidelines of the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, and local healthcare partners to implement the appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of the disease. No institution can eliminate all risk while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. In addition to the measures the College is instituting, the students, faculty and staff are expected to take the necessary precautions, and to be mindful and respectful of each other to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

Is W&J following the guidelines of CDC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for safely reopening the campus?

Yes, W&J is following the current guidelines in place for the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, and local healthcare partners to safely reopen the campus. We are continually monitoring the situation as it develops and will continue to update our procedures to continue to follow guidelines.

Has W&J College been in touch with local medical professionals for guidance on plans?

Yes, our senior administration has been working with Washington Health System medical physicians to ensure that we are following appropriate health and safety precautions.

Will I be required to wear a mask when on campus? If so, when and where?

All W&J employees who are on campus must wear a mask, scarf or protective covering unless they are in a private office or while eating or drinking. Students must wear a mask, scarf or protective covering when in public areas, including campus buildings and while obtaining their meals from The Commons.

Will everyone be tested upon return to campus?

In consultation with our local area medical experts, it has been determined that the best approach is to test symptomatic individuals. We are working on methods of self–assessment for members of our campus to determine whether they are symptomatic and should be tested.

How will my health and the health of others be monitored?

We are currently working on a method of self-assessment to be done each day for those on campus. This information would be shared with our health care staff and determinations can be made as to whether further testing is needed.

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you are learning remotely, contact your health care provider for the best course of action. If you are a student residing on the W&J campus, please contact Student Health Services to be advised of the appropriate measures.

What will happen if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 they will quarantine at their home. If a student tests positive for COVID-19 we will work with them to provide a place to quarantine in one of the two designated areas that we have made available if needed for isolation. During quarantine they will be provided with support including food delivery and course materials.

Will medical and mental health services still be available?

Yes, medical and mental health services will continue to be available.

What should I do if I need to travel for personal reasons?

If you live in a location with a stay-at-home order, personal travel is strongly discouraged.

For locations that are no longer under a stay-at-home order:

  • W&J will not require self-isolation on return from personal travel.
  • If you are experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms following personal travel, you should stay home or seek treatment through your primary care physician.
  • If you choose to travel for personal reasons, monitor the CDC travel advisories and exercise caution.
What is the process for moving into residence halls?

Dates and times to stagger students coming to campus to move into the residence halls will be provided by mid-July after students complete the process to confirm their plans for living on campus for the fall.

How will common areas such as bathrooms be cleaned?
  • We are instituting a 7-step cleaning method for uniformity and standardization to our processes. This is meant to provide the same high-quality cleaning standards in all areas of campus. Cintas is laundering, sanitizing, and delivering fresh cleaning cloths and mops each week to prevent any cross-contamination or improper sanitization. Ecolab is now our provider of cleaning supplies, which includes an EPA certified disinfectant that has reduced the required dwell time from 10 minutes to 2 minutes. We are securing several electrostatic sprayers for applying disinfectants. These devices have been praised for their ability to provide even coverage to areas that are typically tough to reach with traditional spray bottles, i.e. back sides of handrails, doorknobs, faucets, etc.
  • The cleaning processes at W&J have been re-engineered through new cleaning techniques, supplies and equipment to achieve greater effectiveness.
  • Sanitation frequency is increased from once per day to three times per day in Admissions, Campus and Public Safety, the Campus Center, the Commons, the Hub, the Clark Family Library, the Lodge, the Ross Family Recreation Center and Henry Gym, and the Tech Center. Frequency of cleaning is doubled throughout the rest of campus. Each building will have a checklist provided to the custodians to reference cleaning methods and frequencies for daily and weekly cleaning tasks. In addition to the cleaning methods, we will also be using the Maximo work order system to track and monitor the maintenance of our HVAC systems. This will include the changing of necessary filters in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines and CDC recommendations.
Will all students have single rooms?

No. Students who request single rooms will be accommodated, space permitting.

Can I have visitors to my dorm room?

Only students who are living on campus may enter the residence halls. This is being done to maintain efforts to limit the number of individuals entering and exiting the residences and to be mindful of the health and safety of those who reside in those buildings. Off-campus visitors are not permitted. Special circumstances will be considered by request to the Office of Residence Life.

How can I be assured that my roommates and I have the same living expectations regarding health and safety?

Roommate agreements will be completed and include questions about health and safety management in the rooms. Additionally, students living communally (floors, Presidents Row Buildings and Chestnut Street houses) will complete community agreements to agree upon preferable living/cleaning arrangements.

Am I requested to self-quarantine before I arrive on campus?

Students are asked to self-quarantine for 10 days before moving into campus housing. This will help reduce the chance of spread of COVID-19.

Will the Commons and other W&J Dining locations be open during the fall semester?

Yes, all W&J Dining locations will be operating during our fall semester following safety precautions in line with the state’s health guidelines. Every dining location will have designated entry and exit points as well as hand sanitizing stations. Seating will be available at 50% capacity to follow social distancing guidelines.

At the Commons, to promote social distancing, students may be assigned designated meal periods during which they will be able to enter and dine in. Self-service stations will be converted to served stations, and beverages will be served by dining staff. There will be a to-go option for students who prefer to take their meals elsewhere.

At G&T’s and X’Prez’O, floor signage will indicate social distancing requirements. There will be a designated pre-ordering and pickup area. As always, all options will be available to go.

What food preparation and serving precautions will W&J Dining take to ensure safety in the kitchen, at the cashier station and on the serving line?

Access to locations will be limited to necessary personnel only. We will take a quick “pause” from services every 30 minutes. During this pause each station will change serving utensils in use and follow proper sanitizing procedures for their station using recommended sanitizing products, in particular those that are peroxide-based for virus control. This will also include possible common stations such as beverage fountains if they are in use, and door handles where necessary. All cashier stations will include “shields” to separate space from guests, and reduced contact swiping will be done for all student IDs.

What precautions will W&J Dining’s employees be taking?

W&J Dining is taking precautions to ensure the safety of its staff. W&J Dining will require daily temperature checks of all employees as they punch in for the day and require masks and gloves for all employees. All employees will be required to complete targeted training regarding safe work habits and procedures to keep guests safe.

Will W&J offer delivery services?

W&J Dining’s service provider is presently working with various companies for delivery options or pre-order options. We will share more information when it is available.

How will these precautions impact W&J Dining catering services?

All catering events will be served or pre-packaged. Catering setups will follow social distancing and event capacity as mandated by the state of Pennsylvania.

Will W&J students be able to travel abroad for the fall term?

No. Study abroad is cancelled for the fall semester.

Will international students / exchange students come to campus for the fall term?

Assuming students can obtain a visa and secure travel, they are permitted to be on campus for the fall semester. They will follow the same guidelines as all residential students.

Will international students be able to take classes remotely?

If an international student has already studied at W&J and they are unable to return to campus, they may study remotely. International students who have not previously studied at W&J will need to defer their enrollment until they are able to come to campus.

What is the tuition rate for the fall term?

The tuition and fees rates for the 2020-2021 academic year can be found here.

Will tuition and fees and housing and meal charges be adjusted due to the modified calendar?

No, there will not be an adjustment to the tuition and fees due to the modified calendar. The number of instruction days are actually unchanged.

Will W&J student-athletes participate in intercollegiate athletics during the fall semester?

Washington & Jefferson College Department of Athletics is working with the Presidents' Athletic Conference, Empire 8 Conference and the Collegiate Water Polo Association to develop return to practice and play guidelines. The NCAA has allowed each Division III conference to modify its return to play structure. While we fully intend to begin practices in August and return to varsity competitions in September, we will be monitoring CDC and PA Department of Health Guidelines to guide our decision-making.

Will spectators be allowed at W&J athletic home games?

We know how important it is for our athletes and supporters to be together when possible. Assuming we are able to permit spectators to attend games, we will institute physical distancing practices, require the wearing of masks and limiting the number of people per venue. The Department of Athletics will follow CDC, the state of Pennsylvania and local health recommendations in regard to crowd sizes at athletic events. We are developing plans to enhance and upgrade the live streaming of our home athletic events to make them even more visible to parents and fans!

What procedures are taking place to ensure the proper health and safety of our student-athletes?

We take the health and safety of our student athletes very seriously; safety is the highest priority for our entire community. The Washington & Jefferson College Department of Athletics and sports medicine staff will align our COVID-19 protocols with those recommended by the Student Health and Counseling Center and local health authorities’ guidance. Student athletes will undergo temperature and symptom checking before every practice and competition. If there are questions about a student’s health, he or she will be excluded from the activity and, if symptomatic, tested for COVID-19. A student-athlete testing positive for COVID-19 will be quarantined in the designated housing location as assigned by the College. This will take effect immediately and the individual will be quarantined for 14 days and until all symptoms have been resolved and clearance is given by a physician.

What return to practice/play procedures will be implemented?

The W&J sports medicine office is utilizing multi-phase “resocialization to sport” guidelines to guide student-athletes' return to play/practice.  Prior to returning to campus, all W&J student-athlete will commit to the first-phase, which includes a 7-day self-quarantine. Subsequent phasing will include small group instructional and split-squad practices for 10-day periods before full team practices and games are permitted.

Physical distancing will be required of teams on sidelines and on the bench during practice and competition. Masks will be required for those not playing.

What considerations are being made for travel?

We are actively working with our travel partner, Coach USA (Central Cab) which is working to adapt transportation practices to maximize safety for travelers. This includes stringent cleaning measures, as well as physical distancing guidelines for all passengers. These practices are based on recommendations by the CDC, as well as state and local health officials. Adjustments are being developed to modify team travel sizes to ensure appropriate social distancing. 

Which athletic facilities will be available to the campus community?

The James David Ross Recreation Center and Eaton Fitness Center will both be available to students living on campus. Social distancing guidelines will be in place and athletic equipment (basketballs, soccer balls, ropes, etc.) will be provided by students using the facility.

Rules (occupancy, duration of stay, physical distancing) for the Eaton Fitness Center will be developed and posted to guide student use of the facility. Supplies will be available on-site to disinfect equipment before and after use; the facilities will be cleaned several times throughout each day.

The Henry Memorial Pool will not be available for open swim hours for the Fall 2020 semester; usage will be restricted to varsity sports teams.  Salvitti Family Gymnasium usage will be limited to varsity practices and games only.  

How will locker room safety be managed?

Occupancy of each locker room will be determined based on physical distancing standards. The occupancy rules (amount of people in the space and duration of stay) will be shared with respective teams and will be posted throughout the space. Personal sanitation supplies will be available and locker rooms will be cleaned and sanitized several times a day.

How will athletic facilities be maintained for safety?

W&J's Pledge to Cleanliness includes increased cleaning and sanitation of athletic locker rooms, restrooms, and athletic training rooms. Occupancy of each venue will be recalculated based on size and physical distancing standards. Occupancy guidelines will be posted in each venue.

Will there be NCAA Tournaments for fall 2020 sport seasons?

At this time there has been no change to the 2020 NCAA Division III fall championship calendar. On May 29, the NCAA Division III Administrative Committee announced that the minimum number of competitions required for all sports sponsorship and championship qualification have been cut by 33% for the 2020–21 academic year. Link: http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/diii-reduces-number-required-contests

How is the health and safety of student athletes being monitored?

All student-athletes utilize the Athletic Trainer System (ATS) portal which provides the mechanism to monitor health proactively. Student-athletes will participate in Covid-19 screenings (self-reported assessment of symptoms and possible/known exposure to COVID-19), 3 times during the summer months. Student-athletes also submit current athletic insurance information, the student-athlete concussion statement and the health interval questionnaire. We recommend all student-athletes and their families closely read through all of the information provided in the ATS portal. ATS also provides educational modules for student-athletes in managing health and wellness.

How will injured student-athletes be cared for?

The W&J sports medicine staff consists of four full-time, highly-trained, certified athletic trainers. The sports medicine professionals work under the supervision and direction of the team physician (Dr. Anthony C. Canterna), the Student Health Center, and the Washington Hospital for the COVID-19 treatment plan. The main focus is to provide the best quality of care possible to those in need in a safe manner. The sports medicine staff has implemented the following recommendations for the 2020-21 academic year:

  • Student-athletes will make online appointments or call BEFORE reporting to the athletic training room.
  • Student-athletes will complete a daily symptom questionnaire through the ATS software. The questionnaire is required before entering the facility and before reporting to practice every day.
  • A telemedicine protocol is being developed for those student-athletes to use when appropriate. This will be utilized for those individuals that may have symptoms of COVID-19 or those that have underlying conditions that put them in the high-risk category to contract the virus. The student-athlete will be instructed not to physically report to the athletic training room if they are experiencing symptoms and should call the athletic trainer or student health center immediately.
  • Current medical questionnaires have been adapted to add COVID-19 symptoms. This checklist should also be asked daily to those that have scheduled a treatment session before they report to the athletic training room and before every practice.
What is the policy for personal protective equipment (PPE) during athletic competitions?

All coaches and support staff will wear a mask or face shield at all times on campus and in all athletic facilities/venues. At the present time, we are not advising our student-athletes to wear a mask or face shield during intercollegiate practice and competition unless the student-athlete chooses to/prefers. Masks/face shields will be required in W&J athletic venues.

How was the campus engaged in crafting the plan for reopening?

A COVID-19 Response Team was formed in March 2020 as the College prepared to make decisions and put plans in place for our campus community in the middle of the spring 2020 term. This team has continued to meet regularly to make decisions about the coming school year. In addition, subcommittees have been created to investigate specific topics such as academics, travel, and technology moving forward. These subcommittees have shared detailed information with the COVID-19 Response Team in order to make the best decisions to keep the health and safety of our College community at the forefront of our processes.

How will meetings be held?

At this time we encourage meetings to be held via an online platform or implementing social distancing of at least six feet.

Will student work and work study opportunities be available in the fall?

Yes, we will have student worker and work study opportunities in the fall.

Can prospective students and their families visit campus? Will they be able to tour campus?

Prospective students can visit campus while following our campus guidelines, including wearing a mask and social distancing. The Office of Admissions can share guidelines with visiting students and their families as well as plans for a guided tour of the campus.

Will I be required to sign a waiver of liability or other agreement upon returning to campus?

Prior to returning to campus, each member of the W&J community will sign a Community Responsibility Statement agreeing to monitor one’s health and to follow the guidelines set forth by the College designed to promote safety and security of our collective community. Our decisions about safety precautions (social distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, etc.) will be governed by CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines. An addendum to the Student Code of Conduct will be posted and distributed to include modified policies for the Fall 2020 semester.

Will W&J hold Homecoming 2020 celebrations on campus?

With an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to cancel on-campus Homecoming & Reunion Weekend events. We did not come to this decision lightly, as our alumni family is very special to us, and we always look forward to celebrating together each fall.

If your class was celebrating a reunion this year, your milestone celebration will be rescheduled for Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2021. Members of the Class of 1970 will celebrate their 50th Reunion and induction into the Presidential Guard during Commencement 2021. We will be working with reunion committee members to ensure that your reunion celebrations, while delayed, will be filled with wonderful memories.

This decision is consistent with that of many western Pennsylvania colleges and universities and follows current state-wide restrictions on social gatherings.

More information will follow regarding virtual offerings during the intended week of Homecoming, including lectures, reunion get-togethers, and more. Questions can be directed to Kerri Lacock ‘09, director of alumni engagement and annual giving, at klacock@washjeff.edu.