Fall 2020 Reopening

Protecting. Adapting. Thriving.

Move In Fall 2020

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.

Recent News

Updated Fall 2020 Re-opening Plans

August 6, 2020

Dear Students, I hope that you have had a chance to review the message sent earlier from President Knapp outlining a change in our plans for the fall. As you are well aware, we are preparing for a year that won’t look like any other at W&J. Many challenges lie ahead, and although we’re working to tackle all of them, we know this isn’t going to be a normal year on campus. There will be more virtual events rather than in-person gatherings, some internships will be remote experiences, and travel to-and-from campus will be limited. There will be changes to dining and housing. We’re also preparing for the possibility that we’ll have to monitor public health and state and national guidelines closely to ensure that we continue to provide you the safest learning environment possible. Nevertheless, we see opportunities to work through these challenging times together and grow stronger as a community. As always, we cherish the times when we are together as a full community. As we prepare to return to campus, we want to let you know about a major change to the start of the academic year and to campus housing that we are implementing to help...

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Additional Information

Reopening Campus

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 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 page 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.

Returning to Campus
Remote Instruction & Work
Cleaning Procedures
Physical Distancing

Questions and Answers

How will commuting students be kept up to date on information?

It is critical that commuting students check their W&J email regularly. This is the primary way information from the college will be communicated. Each Wednesday, the Your Connection newsletter will be sent to the student’s inbox and will contain important campus updates and information.

How will commuting students receive course materials provided by their professor?

Course materials provided by professors will be shipped at no cost to the student.

How can commuting students retrieve any packages that arrive on campus?

Any packages that a commuting student anticipates will arrive on campus have been forwarded to their address on file. This is being done at no cost to the student.

What safety precautions are commuting students required to take?

Since you will be on campus, you must complete the Pledge to Promote Safety. Commuter students who violate the expectations outlined in the Pledge will be required to study remotely.

On days that you come to campus, you must fill out the daily symptom checker as well. While on campus, you are required to wear a mask covering your mouth and nose and social distance and follow the COVID-19 Student Safety Policies and Guide.

Can commuting students study on campus?

In addition to spaces in academic buildings, several classrooms are being identified for additional study space and/or spaces from which commuting students can participate in virtual courses. We know that some of you will have limited travel time between courses so we are working to designate private/semi-private spaces for this purpose.

Do commuting students have access to support services at the College?

Almost all support services will be available virtually. This includes PAL tutoring, Financial Aid counseling, Health & Counseling, Student Activities Programming, Wellness and Fitness information, and general student services support.

How can commuting students access dining services on campus?

Take-away dining is available in all three dining venues. Dining will operate using JayCash or credit cards; no cash transactions are possible this fall. Seating for non-residential students is available in the Rossin Ballroom, GnT’s, the Ski Lodge and outdoors. All of these spaces offer socially-distanced seating options.

What is being done to assist students managing their mental health while in quarantine?

Plans are in place for a great deal of virtual contact during the quarantine period. First-year students will participate in virtual orientation activities. Resident Assistants and LINK mentors will be hosting virtual check in contact daily. In addition, other peer leaders and offices are planning connection points for all our students during this time.

Will intramural/club sports be offered this year?

Due to space and safety constraints, W&J will not offer intramural programming during the fall semester, but we will look to expand recreational offerings, both virtually and outdoors. Club sports listed among the low-contact category will be able to practice and compete, if proper health and safety protocols can be maintained. We will be increasing outdoor fitness and recreational opportunities for the Fall 2020 semester, as well as offering more classes and interactions in a virtual format. As we monitor the health situation in our region, intramural programs will be considered during the Spring 2021 semester.

I’m a prospective student-athlete. How will this affect my recruitment?

Recruiting practices will continue in accordance with NCAA regulations. W&J is inviting prospective student-athletes to campus and coaches will be on the road attending events. Campus visits must be scheduled through a coach or admissions counselor 72 hours in advance and visitors will be required to submit a health and wellness check-in survey.

Helpful Links

Health Care Tips from the Centers for Disease Control

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and make sure you wash your thumbs, wrists, and in-between your fingers. This is the best defense against the spread of all viruses.
  2. Stay home when you are ill. This will help you to recover more quickly and decrease the spread of illness when on campus.
  3. Use a tissue or the crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze. Promptly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  4. Get plenty of rest/sleep.
  5. If you have not had the flu vaccine, please consider getting one. While this will not protect against the coronavirus, the vaccine may prevent against the flu.

Fall 2020 Timeline

  • August 24

    Classes begin

  • September 7

    Labor Day - in-person classes resume

  • November 24

    Classes end

  • Nov 30 - Dec 5

    Final Exams (offered online)

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.