At least three Christian colleges announced changes to their fall semester plans in recent days due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The most significant change occurred at Lincoln (Ill.) Christian University, where students were sent home about 10 days early, a main reason being the dwindling number of students receiving in-person instruction.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult for our faculty to manage courses that have numerous students in quarantine,” LCU president Silas McCormick wrote on Nov. 9. “While we would all prefer to continue holding these classes in-person, the reality is that over the next week-and-a-half, a number of classes would have nearly as many students missing as present.”
With this change, the last day for in-person classes was last Tuesday; as of Wednesday, all learning switched to virtual. The final pre-Thanksgiving classes will take place this Friday. LCU had already planned for an extended Thanksgiving break (Nov. 21-29), and it also had long-planned to finish the semester with online-only instruction and exams (Nov. 30 to Dec. 18).
At Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Mo., students who had been attending classes in-person were given the option of returning home this week and switching to remote learning. Dorms will remain open until Saturday. Ozark, like LCU, planned an extended Thanksgiving break (Nov. 21-29), and remote-only instruction and exams during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Damien Spikereit, OCC’s executive vice president of administration, stressed in a note to students and staff that the school’s student affairs department will continue to care for students in quarantine and isolation.
“Please rest assured that we won’t let anyone be stuck alone over Thanksgiving,” Spikereit wrote. “Ozark is committed to helping everyone finish well and get home safely.”
At Central Christian College of the Bible, Moberly, Mo., students recently were presented with three options for how to finish the semester: (1) go home for Thanksgiving break and finish the fall semester online (no refunds for room and board charges); (2) go home for Thanksgiving and return to campus to finish the semester in person; or (3) stay on campus for Thansgiving and the remainder of the fall semester. Students were instructed to fill out a form stating their plans and to return it by today.