In response to experts' recommendations on halting the spread of the coronavirus, St. Scholastica has announced that classes will be taught online for the rest of the spring semester, and that commencement exercises will not go forward as planned.
In an announcement Thursday to faculty, staff and students, President Barbara McDonald said that the College will not resume in-person classes for the rest of the spring semester. Instead, classes will be offered online or in other alternative formats. Previously, St. Scholastica had announced that online and alternative classes would be in session at least through April 8.
"With the uncertainty of COVID-19's spread, we want to be proactive and make this decision early to reduce anxiety and uncertainties for our students, faculty and staff," McDonald wrote. "We will be monitoring the situation and will provide updates regarding the summer session as we learn more."
Students who left residence halls will be able to retrieve their belongings from March 20-30.McDonald's announcement also included the news that spring Commencement exercises will be canceled.
"Based on the most recent recommendations regarding limits to gatherings and to protect the health of our graduates, their families, alumni, and employees, we will not hold this year's on-campus Commencement events scheduled for May 10," McDonald wrote. "Instead, we are exploring alternative solutions to honor our graduates, whether that means a rescheduled date in the future or an alternative virtual experience."
All other campus events for the rest of the semester will be canceled as well, including arts and entertainment events on the Spotlight calendar. This follows an announcement earlier this week that Saints Athletics has canceled its spring season.
All St. Scholastica employees will work remotely starting on March 23, except essential employees with campus-specific duties. College-sponsored domestic and international travel have been suspended until further notice.
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.