College to reopen this fall

COVID-19 update

COVID-19 update

The College of St. Scholastica plans to reopen its Duluth and extended campuses this fall.

President Barbara McDonald announced the decision today to St. Scholastica faculty, staff, students and parents. The College will reopen its campuses, including residence halls, for the fall semester. Courses will be taught using a mixture of in-person and virtual methods. Students in fully online programs will not experience any change to the delivery of their courses.

Classes will begin Sept. 8. The plan could change if pandemic circumstances require it, Dr. McDonald said.

The announcement comes at the recommendation of the College's Rapid Response Team, an appointed group of faculty and staff charged with determining the College's best course of action for a safe return in the fall. The team studied a range of scenarios, taking into account guidance provided by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). College leadership reviewed the recommendations and approved moving forward with reopening its campuses.

"In making this decision, we have drawn upon the best resources and information available," McDonald said in the announcement. "However, please know that this plan remains flexible and could change if pandemic circumstances require it. The safety of our students, faculty and staff will remain our top priority."

Groups including faculty, staff and student representatives will develop work plans and timelines that address each area of the College's life, including:

  • Planning for social distancing on campuses, including configuration of classrooms, gathering spaces, offices, etc.
  • Adjusting course schedules and modalities to keep in-person classes small and provide simultaneous virtual class experiences as needed to serve students and faculty needs.
  • Opening residence halls and food service, following MDH guidelines.
  • Preparing Student Health Service to address testing and tracing.
  • Following forthcoming athletic conference guidelines and decisions regarding fall athletics.
  • Updating health and safety protocols, including best practice preventative measures to keep employees and students safe.

Updates will be posted at css.edu/coronavirus.

"Moving forward we will, as always, look to the innovative spirit of our founding Sisters and be guided by our mission and Benedictine Values as we make decisions," McDonald said. "We will continue to closely monitor guidance from Gov. Walz, the MDH, and the CDC on campus reopenings and public health protocols."

The College of St. Scholastica has campuses in Duluth on Kenwood Avenue and Woodland Avenue; as well as in St. Cloud, St. Paul, Austin, Cloquet, Brainerd, Grand Rapids and Inver Grove Heights. For Spring 2020 semester, total enrollment was 3,617. 

St. Scholastica is a 108-year-old private, independent college in Catholic Benedictine  tradition. It is nationally recognized for quality and value. It has been named the top Minnesota college for economic mobility, and U.S. News & World Report includes it on its Best National Universities and Top Performers on Social Mobility lists. The College is ranked on Money magazine's "Best Colleges for your Money" list, Princeton Review's 2020 list of Best Midwestern Colleges, and Forbes' Top Colleges list. The Center for First-Generation Student Success has named St. Scholastica one of the top 80 colleges in the country for commitment to first-generation students. Learn more at css.edu