BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – West Virginia Wesleyan College has announced this it will begin its fall semester online.
A release from the college stated that classes will be held online starting on Monday, Aug. 17, with the possibility of bringing students back to campus for in-person instruction as early as Monday, Sept. 7. This was announced by WVWC President Joel Thierstein to the campus community on Tuesday. Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees met earlier in the day to confirm the recommendation of the Campus Status Task Force.
“Our first priority is the safety of our campus community and the people of Buckhannon and Upshur County,” said Dr. Thierstein. “We believe that beginning the semester online will help keep our community safer.”
Thierstein also announced that WVWC will work to adjust room and board costs for the fall semester over the coming weeks, according to the release.
Additionally, Thierstein said that several factors contributed to the college’s decision to delay the start of in-person classes, including, most importantly, the spread of COVID-19.
The Mountain East Conference has also delayed the start of practice for fall sports to Sept. 7 for football and Sept. 14 of other fall sports, according to the release. This impacts nearly 300 Wesleyan students, WVWC officials said.
Thierstein praised the work of faculty, staff and students who have worked tirelessly for the past several months on the Safe Return to Campus Plan.
“I am incredibly proud of the work done by the task force and the subcommittees in developing our comprehensive safe campus plan. I believe we are thoroughly prepared to welcome our students back to campus when we feel it is safe to do so. The unanswered public health questions and issues associated with minimizing the spread of COVID-19 are creating unprecedented challenges for higher education.”
“While we are disappointed to have to begin our semester on-line, our faculty and staff have developed a robust online learning environment that will provide our students with the high quality academic and community building experiences that Wesleyan is known for.”
The release stated WVWC suspended in-person instruction effective March 13 through the end of the spring semester 2020, and had May and summer sessions conducted online.
Thierstein also informed students that another update about the College’s class instruction plans will be announced on Friday, Aug. 28, according to the release.