Dakota Wesleyan University unveils its plans for the Fall semester

Dakota Wesleyan University will resume face-to-face classes for the fall semester beginning Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, with appropriate and prudent modifications and a modestly revised academic calendar.

The university will conclude on-campus, face-to-face classes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Classes will continue after this date in an online environment, with the last day of final exams on Dec. 16, 2020.

“We have chosen to modify the fall calendar in order to mitigate the potential risks to the campus community posed by students traveling home for Thanksgiving and then returning to campus,” said DWU President, Amy Novak.

Students are welcome to return home for the Thanksgiving holiday, but in doing so, will be discouraged from returning to campus after the holiday. For students that elect to stay on campus during Thanksgiving, they will be free to remain in residence halls, following the move to an online learning environment, until Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.

The university will be implementing a variety of measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on campus.

“In implementing these measures, our goal continues to be delivering a high-quality educational experience to all of our students, while simultaneously maximizing the health and safety of all members of our campus community,” said Novak.

The following represent a few of the measures to be implemented:

  • New classroom and building capacity numbers that will enable students and faculty to practice safe social distancing in classrooms and other campus facilities,
  • Modifications to classes and schedules to remain in alignment with classroom and building capacity numbers,
  • Creating a variety of procedures and options in collaboration with university dining, including social distancing in the dining room, staggered dining schedules and order ahead and carry out options.

DWU plans to resume athletic competition beginning in August. Athletic practices and contests will be modified in accordance with guidance from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). The university continues to receive regular and ongoing guidance from both bodies.

Should a member of the campus community be diagnosed with COVID-19, the university has policies and procedures in place to address the situation. To date, there have been no confirmed cases among the DWU campus community.

The university is setting aside a number of residence hall rooms in which students can be quarantined, should the need to do so arise.

The university has infrastructure in place that will enable students to continue their coursework, should they be unable to attend classes for an extended period.

The university is exploring a variety of options for testing and screening students, faculty and staff for COVID-19, periodically, as well as developing a variety of contingency plans that will allow the university to “tighten” or “loosen” campus protocols in response to changes at the local, state and regional levels.

DWU is developing a list of items that will be required by students upon their return to campus to ensure proper screening, in attempts to mitigate the spread of the virus.

For more information on the university’s updated policies and precautionary measures as it pertains to COVID-19 and/or the fall semester, please visit www.dwu.edu/COVID-19.