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President's Blog

CC’s Plan for Fall 2020

Dear CC Community,
We know you have been eagerly awaiting our plan for the coming academic year. We are grateful for your patience as we navigate the complexities of changing county, state, and national orders and guidelines while we also work to ensure that our students can get the outstanding academic and co-curricular experience they expect from Colorado College.
Our top priority is the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and the greater community – we must all do our part. And our mission, as always, is to deliver the finest liberal arts education in the country. Therefore, we want to come together in a way that allows us to deliver the distinctive and immersive Colorado College academic program, fostering student-faculty engagement, while responsibly adhering to health requirements and working to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Colorado currently is not experiencing an increase in cases as is occurring in several other states. But we know that could change at any time. We recognize that some categories of people are known to be especially vulnerable to both contracting and risking death from COVID-19, and this unpredictable and highly contagious disease can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
To guide our strategy, dozens of our faculty and staff colleagues are problem-solving and action-planning as members of summer working groups dedicated to helping CC adapt campus life amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working to make sure we’re creating a safe, supported, and intentional return to campus. These groups are focusing on implementation, managing critical projects, and details to bring the recommendations to fruition by August, while still being nimble enough to react to changes in the environment.
Today we are pleased to announce that Colorado College will take a phased approach to bringing students to campus this fall. Our first-year students will be welcomed to campus for a modified New Student Orientation and Block 1 classes, all achieved while observing social distancing and health/safety protocols. This plan helps us follow the state’s recommendations for phased re-openings of workplaces and campuses.
These first weeks on campus, featuring move-in, on-campus programming, and local Priddy excursions, are essential to new students getting a good start in college, adjusting to the Block Plan, and gaining the sense of place that is so special at CC. Those first-year students who cannot attend in person will be able to take their classes via distance learning. Note that some faculty members teaching Block 1 classes for first-year-students may choose to teach via distance learning if they have COVID-19 related concerns.
In addition, RAs, NSO mentors, student athletes in NCAA-authorized sports, new transfer students, and international students who are already here are invited to campus for NSO and Block 1.
Teaching Block 1 with fewer students on campus will help us prepare for the next phase, with all students on campus. We plan to welcome all upper-class students to campus in Block 2. Upper-class students will have options for distance learning courses in Block 1, if they choose to enroll. All upper-class students who are invited to campus in Block 1 (noted above) must enroll in one of these courses. Special accommodations will be made for in-person classes for international students on campus if that visa requirement is not waived, as it was in the spring semester. In order to accommodate those who cannot return to campus, classes will be offered in distance-learning mode throughout the entire fall semester.
We are fortunate that the flexibility of the Block Plan allows us to adjust our academic calendar for the 2020-21 academic year, broadening scheduling options for students and providing more value to them during this unpredictable year. The addition of a new January block, in addition to half blocks and summer courses, means that students can take 10 blocks of courses for the usual 8-block tuition amount this academic year. Or they may choose to shift their academic year’s start and end dates, while still meeting their requirements for the year.
Faculty members, including those teaching CC100 classes, have the option of teaching remotely if they have vulnerabilities or COVID-19 concerns. All faculty should be prepared to teach remotely or to offer a hybrid version of their classes, if possible, to accommodate the needs of faculty, staff, and students who may not be able to be on campus throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
On campus, we are following established health protocols for COVID-19, and will continue to comply with updated public health orders and guidelines. Students, faculty and staff should expect travel restrictions throughout the fall semester and those who do travel out of state or to virus “hotspots” may be required to quarantine. Updated information on these restrictions will be shared closer to the opening date when we have current state guidance. Students who plan to travel outside the state for Fall Break (Thanksgiving) may not return to campus for the rest of Block 4; therefore, they should take Block 4 classes remotely if they intend to earn credit for that block.
We share more details on New Student Orientation; student housing, meals, and COVID-related community standards/student conduct; and health and safety in the attached short videos.
In addition, starting next week, we will host virtual town halls on the safe return to campus. During these live discussions you will be able to submit questions via the chat function. All webinars require registration before the event via the links below.T
he topics of discussion, schedule and registration links for these hourlong sessions are:
New Students: Tuesday, June 30, 1 p.m. MT
CC Employees: Thursday, July 2, 9:30 a.m. MT
NCAA Athletics: Thursday, July 2, 1 p.m. MT
Classes and Academics: Wednesday, July 8, 1 p.m. MT
Safety and Testing: Thursday, July 9, 1 p.m. MT
See our plan, and visit our FAQs – which will be continually updated – for more information. If you have additional concerns about COVID-19 or our campus response, direct them to:
We’d like to thank the many members of the faculty and staff who are contributing so much effort to working out our plans for this coming academic year under changing circumstances. We know not all of your questions will be answered today, but we are working on finalizing details, and will continue to communicate often as they are worked out.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these times. We look forward to seeing you on campus in coming months.
Jill Tiefenthaler President
Mike Edmonds, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Acting Co-President-Elect
Robert G. Moore, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration, Acting Co-President-Elect

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