Brenau Moving Forward Fall 2020

Brenau University is excited to announce our plans for re-opening campus for the Fall 2020 semester. Please check back here often, as new information will become available frequently.

 

Returning to Campus with Care

We are pleased to announce that Brenau University is planning to begin fall classes at all locations on Monday, Aug. 24, as originally scheduled. Fall semester will include a combination of face-to-face, remote and hybrid courses as needed, as well as residential student living. We will end semester instruction and final examinations by Wednesday, Nov. 25, Thanksgiving week. All fully online programs will start and end as scheduled. Detailed information will be provided by each department.

In order to ensure we have an appropriate schedule for classes and to reduce health risks, the fall 2020 semester time frame will be condensed. This will be accomplished through conducting classes and following regular staff schedules on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, as well as the previously planned Fall Break, Oct. 15-16. Residential students will move in on an assigned staggered schedule between Aug. 2-23. Likewise, faculty and staff will begin working on campus on a staggered schedule beginning July 15. This schedule will take into consideration existing vacation plans and individual faculty and staff circumstances. Details for faculty and staff will be communicated by area vice presidents.

Off-campus placements (fieldwork, clinical experiences) are being planned by faculty at this time, and are impacted by the situations at various healthcare facilities and individual programs. More information will be sent directly to students later this month.

Brenau’s Scenario Planning Group, COVID-19 Task Force and Leadership Team studied the situation carefully, including current health trends and most recently the Centers for Disease Control Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (May 30).

Three primary factors shaped our decision making:

  • Prioritizing face-to-face teaching, learning and support.
  • Being mindful of possible additional waves of the virus, which many health experts warn is a possibility. By foregoing some traditional breaks, the likelihood of completing the semester uninterrupted is increased.
  • Lessening the potential of infection by ending the semester early for on-ground classes.

Please know that with these initial decisions in place, various teams are working on the details of class formats, housing, signage, mask distribution, staff working arrangements, food distribution and meeting formats within the distancing regulations. As decisions and protocols are finalized, you will be updated. I encourage you to check in regularly on this webpage.

Campus health and safety is paramount for all we do. A key to a successful fall semester experience resides in a community commitment from each of us to do our part in practicing good health habits everyday. The entire Brenau community must commit to monitor our own health honestly and mindfully as only we know when we are truly not well or may have been exposed to someone with the virus. Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms or knowledge of exposure must not report to class or work. Residential students exhibiting symptoms must contact University Nurse Practitioner Sarah Davis at sdavis8@brenau.edu or 770-538-4447. Reminders regarding these practices will be available on our website and posted throughout the university community.

We will be introducing COVID-19 protocols throughout the semester. The most important step we each can take is to assess our health every day through a daily self-screening checklist. We will make testing available for students who exhibit symptoms. Procedures are in place for students to isolate themselves if they are awaiting test results or if they have tested positive. Faculty and staff will follow appropriate procedures if awaiting test results or diagnosed.

Our facilities colleagues will utilize Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended cleaning protocols throughout the campus, particularly on high-contact surfaces. We also will control the flow of individuals in high-traffic areas with designated entrances and exits and single-direction stairwells where available. Specific policies and procedures are under development, and our comprehensive health and safety plan will be shared with the campus community prior to resuming in-person instruction and operations.

I trust that you are practicing these reminders as we prepare for the fall, as it’s especially imperative that we remain vigilant as we follow the advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Wear face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Stay home when you are sick and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces.

This is our plan, but we must remain flexible. Even with our best planning and efforts, we do not control the world health situation. Unexpected developments and new regulations and guidance may require us to change our thinking and, therefore, our approach. If a new outbreak occurs, we will take all the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of our campus community, which may include the use of remote learning and support for a period of time. Our faculty are ready to pivot to a change in the health situation for the benefit of our students.

Please know this is a summary of where we are now, and there are very detailed plans in development. We remain committed to transparency as we move forward together. We will provide more information in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, I wish you continued good health and a good summer.

Anne A. Skleder, President

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100
Brenau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.