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Elms College Announces Plan to Reopen Campus for Fall Semester

CHICOPEE, Mass. — The College of Our Lady of the Elms announced its plan to reopen campus for the fall 2020 semester.

The fall semester will start on September 2 and end on December 11, 2020. From November 30 through the end of the semester, all classes will move to online instruction. Final exams will be held, as scheduled, in an online or alternative format.


“Planning to reopen our campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic is an incredibly complex task and I want to thank all the staff and faculty members who continue to be deeply involved in the planning process,” said Harry E. Dumay Ph.D., MBA, president of Elms College. “Though the situation is still evolving and there are many unknowns, the Elms College family will join together to take on this challenge and make the fall semester a safe one for our students, faculty and staff,” said Dumay.


Classes will be taught in a hybrid, flexible (HyFlex) model that gives students the option of attending sessions in the classroom, online, or both. In the HyFlex model, students can move between the options based on their personal preferences and international and non-local students will be able to continue their coursework.


During the fall semester, the three residence halls on campus – Devine Hall, O’Leary Hall, and Rose William Hall – will be open and all rooms will be single-room assignments. First-year undergraduate students will reside in one residence hall, while returning undergraduates, graduate, and postbaccalaureate students will receive room assignments in the two other residence halls.


First-year students will move in during the weekend of August 28 – 30 and returning students will move in between August 30 and September 1. Specific move-in times will be assigned to all residential students. In addition, residential students will have the option to drop off their belongings in advance between August 15 and August 24 at designated times.


Before the start of the semester, all students will be required to complete a COVID-19 checklist. For students living on campus, they will be required to complete a health screening prior to moving into the residence halls.


On a daily basis, all students will be expected to monitor and record any symptoms they might have. Any positive symptoms must be reported to the Health Center for consultation. The college will have a separate living space for any student in need of quarantine.


Elms College continues to follow Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and CDC guidelines for campus cleaning and disinfecting, mask wearing, and social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available at entrances to all buildings, classrooms, and the dining hall. Disinfecting wipes will be available in all bathrooms, classrooms, and other shared facilities.


For everyone on campus – students, faculty, and staff – masks will be required to be worn on the premises or in close proximity to others.


Physical distancing policies will limit the number of individuals allowed in classrooms, lab spaces, public restrooms, residence halls, the dining hall, and other common areas at any one time. Furniture in the library and common spaces in the residential facilities will be organized to accommodate social distancing. Also, plexi-glass will be installed in all restrooms, in the dining hall, and in any common area per MDPH and CDC guidelines.


For more information on Elms College’s reopening plan, visit

About Elms College

Elms College is a co-educational Catholic college offering a liberal arts curriculum that gives students multiple perspectives on life. Founded in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Elms College has a tradition of educating reflective, principled and creative learners, who are rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, responsive to civic and social obligations, and capable of adjusting to change without compromising principle.