In a message to the Randolph community, President Bradley W. Bateman said the College originally planned to return to campus in the fall. However, recent developments have prompted a change to the plan. Central to the decision was the lack of quick, large-scale asymptomatic testing and contact tracing, as well as the impact the pandemic-related changes would have on student life.
“The simple truth is that we do not see the situation in our country improving before our campus opens to our full student body in a month’s time. Because of this, we are not confident the College would be able to remain in-person the entire semester without serious COVID-19-caused disruptions,” Bateman said.
“By committing to online instruction for the fall now, we are not only able to give our faculty more time to prepare their courses, but we are able to hopefully alleviate some of the uncertainty that has existed for students and families this summer,” he added. “We just do not believe the limited in-person experiences we would have been able to provide this semester, not to mention the extremely regimented residence hall policies, would meet the expectations of our students and families.”
Lessons learned from the abrupt shift to remote learning during the spring have allowed the College to improve its technology and online offerings. The College’s small size also lends itself to providing a unique, personalized online academic experience for students. Numerous virtual experiences will be planned to help students stay engaged and connected with one another and the College during the semester.
“Our faculty members are extremely dedicated to our students—and to teaching—and I know they will make sure our students receive the best possible experience,” Bateman said. “The hallmark of an education at Randolph is the close, personal attention given to every student. That will continue this fall, and it is also what will make our students’ experiences richer and more rewarding than those offered by larger online providers.”
More information is available on the College’s website at www.randolphcollege.edu/COVID19. While Randolph hopes to resume classes on campus for the spring semester, a final decision will be made later in the fall.
“Living the life more abundant often requires us to adapt and change as the road curves and weaves in front of us,” Bateman said. “Our community is resilient and strong, and I know that when we are once again together behind our Red Brick Wall, we will be even more grateful for the family that is Randolph College.”
To read the email sent to students, faculty, staff, and parents today, please see https://www.randolphcollege.edu/covid19/