As we anticipate the completion of an on-campus fall and spring semester in which we had few disruptions to in-person learning, we are excited to announce Houghton College’s plans for continuing in-person learning for the 2021-22 Academic Year.
While our Fall 2020 semester had a remote portion due to limiting travel back to campus after Thanksgiving Break, we feel confident that we will be able to hold in-person, on-campus instruction using our previously published academic calendar which includes scheduled October and Thanksgiving Breaks, with students able to leave and return to campus for these breaks.
To provide additional opportunities for our incoming students to make connections with one another and to transition well to an in-person setting, we will be welcoming new students to campus for an extended orientation beginning on Wednesday, August 25th. Returning students will be able to arrive beginning on Saturday, August 28th. October Break will be October 18-19, and Thanksgiving Break will be from November 24-28, with students returning to campus for the remaining three weeks of the semester on campus.
While there is much we still do not know, we do anticipate that COVID-19 will continue to shape some aspects of our life together here on campus. Our expectation is that, thanks to a majority of our campus community receiving the vaccine, there will be fewer instances of students, staff and faculty either contracting the virus or needing to quarantine due to exposure to an infected individual. We do not anticipate requiring all students, staff, and faculty to be vaccinated, we instead strongly encourage everyone to receive the vaccine. Those members of our campus community who are vaccinated will undoubtedly enjoy fewer disruptions to their experience, both because of public health standards and by institutional design.
We do understand and respect that some individuals may hesitate to be vaccinated for various reasons and we will seek to provide opportunities for them to participate in the life of our campus community consistent with ensuring the ongoing health and safety of our entire community. Hybrid and remote learning options will continue to be available for those students who may feel uncomfortable returning to in-person learning on Houghton’s campus.
We are excited to be able to welcome even more students here this fall and are anxious to reclaim even more of a sense of normalcy in our living and learning environment.