President Wesley R. Fugate, Ph.D., announced that for the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff, Wilson will hold classes remotely for the fall semester. The decision was made in light of the increased spread of the COVID-19 virus nationwide, new guidance and restrictions from the CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the NCAA, and the limited availability of testing.

In making the announcement, Fugate said, “We have concluded, in consultation with faculty senate, that the safest approach is to deliver our curriculum through robust online, remote instruction for the upcoming semester. This decision is an incredibly difficult one to make, but based upon the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases across the country and the marked impact this is having on college-aged young people, we feel it is the right one.”

he decision was made in part because the new guidelines and restrictions that have emerged over recent weeks, coupled with the limited availability of testing, would have significantly restricted the on-campus experience for students. Also, the shift to remote learning for the entire semester provides students and their families with clarity and certainty and avoids the disruption that might occur otherwise. 

Fugate said, “We know how disappointing this is for our students, and we join [them] in that pain. Our faculty and staff have been working incredibly hard to prepare to be together this fall, and I thank them for all their diligent work this summer. I know they, like me, wish for the day our entire Wilson family can be on campus.” In acknowledgment of the challenges facing students and their families, Wilson will offer each student who completes the fall semester one January term course at no additional tuition charge.

To ensure students receive the high-quality Wilson education that they have come to expect, the College has purchased the requisite technology and provided faculty and staff with enhanced training. The student development and academic support services teams will be available and ready to serve every student and help each individual navigate the semester. Fugate said, “The Wilson experience will be different, but we hope to create memorable and lasting moments virtually, in addition to the necessary support to help [students] succeed.”

Wilson may provide limited housing for students who cannot live at home because doing so would cause them hardship or because their home environment could not support remote learning. Students who are housed on campus will be required to abide by all COVID-19 health and safety protocols and will be required to wear face coverings, except when eating or in their rooms. Dining services will be limited, and group and face-to-face meetings, including extra-curricular activities, will not be permitted in adherence to social distancing guidelines.

Fugate and the college leadership are hopeful that the situation around the virus will improve, and face-to-face instruction can resume in January. The College will provide updates as details of new opportunities for students become available.
 

Published: July 31, 2020