The COVID-19 pandemic has created a climate of uncertainty and change across all areas but especially with respect to our plans for future semesters and for the return of on-campus students. Many of the factors affecting our decisions are beyond our control, and our actions will be guided by national, state and local public health agencies and other governmental entities.
I would like to assure you we have a team of experts working on ensuring Regis has access to the testing, contact tracing capabilities and personal protective equipment required to safely operate a campus this fall. To give students and faculty the most flexibility during these unprecedented times, Regis has decided to split the fall semester for students who take courses on campus into two eight-week sessions. Most students taking five courses in the fall will split their load between the two, completing two of their courses in the first session and the remaining three in the second. We believe that concentrated focus will result in even stronger learning outcomes and ensure the continuity of education should there be further disruptions due to the pandemic. Our priority is our community’s safety and the timely completion of our students’ academic pursuits. We are committed to opening the campus including residence halls this fall. However, Regis will make adjustments as necessary based on the guidance of health authorities.
In addition to the established First-Year Seminar, Regis is exploring a new, multidisciplinary seminar focusing on the pandemic and social disparity which will bring disciplinary knowledge from biology, ethics, history, public health, business, communication and nursing to bear on understanding the global origins and implications of the coronavirus. We will continue to explore ways our students can learn and contribute during this pandemic with our public health students participating in the contact tracing efforts and nursing students leading the way.
We know you have many questions, but we simply do not have all the answers just yet. As soon as we have more information, we will share it with our community members. Since 1927, our students have been the focus of everything we do, and your safety and education continues to be our number one concern as we get through this challenging time together.
Antoinette M. Hays, PhD, RN