SPRINGFIELD, MA (03/17/2021) After successfully holding classes primarily on campus under stringent COVID-19 safety protocols throughout the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021, Western New England University has announced plans to return to unrestricted in-person learning for fall 2021.
The announcement was made by WNE President Robert E. Johnson in a letter to the campus community on March 16. Of the roughly 3,000 colleges and universities tracked by the College Crisis Initiative, Western New England University was one of just 27% of schools nationwide that resumed primarily ‘in-person’ teaching last fall that continued throughout the spring through careful adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.
The letter describes the plan for all on-ground courses to be in classrooms without social distancing restrictions in place.
“We must thrive in uncertainty by being well-informed, decisive, and extremely well-prepared,” said Johnson. “The decision to return to campus in this way has not been made lightly or without a great deal of planning,” wrote Johnson adding that detailed feedback and support from University administration along with guidance from state and national health experts has led to this decision.
Johnson noted that while the University will prepare for mostly on ground, in-person, unrestricted classes to resume in the fall, detailed contingency plans are in place if the University needs to revert to classrooms with social distancing. “We will be ready to execute our plan in a quick and organized manner that will reduce class sizes and add more hybrid options to the course schedule.”
Johnson expressed to the community that he very much looks forward to a return to the close interaction with students that is a hallmark of a WNE education. “I want to emphasize that University faculty and staff will be fully prepared to deal with whatever our situation may bring, as has been the case all along,” said Johnson. “I am both cautious and optimistic in all that we are planning for you.”
The Fall 2021 semester will begin on Monday, August 30, 2021.
Having just celebrated its Centennial, Western New England University is a private, independent, coeducational institution. Located on an attractive 215-acre suburban campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England serves 3,690 students, including 2,486 full-time undergraduate students. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are offered through Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the School of Law.