FALL 2020 ANNOUNCEMENT
July 10, 2020
Today, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is releasing key elements of our reopening plan for the fall 2020 semester, which will include a hybrid approach of online and in-person instruction. Our plan is based on creating a learning environment that is as safe as possible for our students, faculty and staff, while continuing the tradition of hands-on experiential learning that is the hallmark of our College.
The College is reworking its instructional model during the pandemic, offering in-person learning for our students when conditions allow for it and providing faculty with tools and support to deliver robust teaching remotely when necessary. All of our academic and operations planning is designed with one goal: to provide a framework will accommodate the environment we are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide a strong foundation for the future when we can return to a more normal learning experience.
Teaching and Learning
With our faculty and staff, we are working to change our calendar to maximize the amount of safe, on campus teaching and experiential learning opportunities we can offer. Our goal is for as many students as possible to have a mix of live, in person instruction and remote instruction for the fall.
For those students and programs that either choose or are required to learn remotely, they will be supported by the College’s Academic Support Team which is adapting its service delivery model to make sure that students have additional assistance with learning support, counseling, IT and the adjustment to the Thaddeus Stevens College model.
To that end, instruction will start on August 24, 2020. Additional learning opportunities, including instructional time during breaks and the summer to enhance in person instruction are being considered. Faculty, staff and administration are seeking to create an ongoing partnership with our students that will address the challenges presented in learning in a different way.
More program-specific details will be released in the next weeks.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is at the very center of our reopening plan. When we return to campus, enhanced cleaning protocols will be in place across campus, and we will reinforce physical distancing by rearranging furniture, installing barriers and posting signage. In order to maintain and support physical distancing not only in the classroom, but also in our labs, halls, restrooms and shared spaces, our classrooms and learning spaces will be temporarily redesigned and we’ll be finding some creative spaces to use in order to support learning and community.
We are working to partner with a regional health system to provide clinical expertise and support as we reopen in the fall.
Further details of the plan, including the College’s PA Health and Safety Preparedness Plan, will be released next week.
Though our planning process has been carefully considered, we are prepared to adapt or even change course as the public health situation may require. We are watching closely the developments with the COVID-19 pandemic in our community and across the Commonwealth, and appreciate the flexibility of our students, faculty and staff as we move forward in this time of ongoing uncertainty.
Housing and Student Life
The College is committed to returning as many students as possible to campus for at least part of the fall semester with the hope that 2021 will allow the opportunity to expand these offerings. As such, campus housing will be provided on a limited basis for the fall. Staff and Administration continue to work on supplemental plans for student life, programming, housing, food service and engagement.
Thaddeus Stevens College is an active member of the National Junior College Athletic Association and has been working closely with its member conferences to keep opportunities for athletics available for the 2020-2021 school year.
How We Move Forward Together
For more than 100 years, Thaddeus Stevens College has used its unique student focused approach to produce students with real skills who have worked to create a new and innovative Pennsylvania. The innovative spirit which is at the heart of the College is driving our approach to the 2020-2021 school year. While the adjustments we have to make may make campus life temporarily different than that which we are used to, they also preset opportunities to think and act differently.
In addition, our faculty, our staff, our administration—led by our Board of Trustees—are fundamentally committed to meet that challenge presented by COVID as an opportunity to further adapt, overcome and thrive. Throughout these uncertain times, Thaddeus Stevens College affirms our commitment that regardless of the format, students will receive a high quality Thaddeus Stevens College education.