About 75 students return to campus for final summer session, Hit the Ground Running

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On July 15, 2020

Norwood Hall on the Missouri S&T campus

Norwood Hall on the Missouri S&T campus. Photo by Tom Wagner/Missouri S&T

Missouri S&T will welcome about 75 students to campus starting Sunday, July 19, for the final summer session of classes and a summer program for first-year students called Hit the Ground Running (HGR). Missouri S&T also will have new practices in place to reduce the potential impact of COVID-19.

HGR is Missouri S&T’s summer bridge program for incoming first-year students. The program gives students a four-week head start on their college experience with a combination of online and in-person instruction.

The 49 students in HGR will learn about undergraduate research, team building and leadership. They also will receive course credit in chemistry, mathematics, English and student success. HGR runs Sunday, July 19, through Friday, Aug. 14. Several students and staff serve as program instructors, advisors and mentors.

Missouri S&T’s fourth and final summer session runs Monday, July 20, through Friday, Aug. 14. A total of 79 students are enrolled for that session, but only 26 of them will be taking courses on campus. The other 53 will take courses online. Ten faculty will be teaching the courses, either on campus or remotely.

The return of students to campus for in-classroom instruction and other activities is part of a six-phase return-to-campus plan announced in May. Last March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Missouri S&T moved all courses online for the remainder of the spring semester. The majority of faculty and staff also moved to remote teaching and working arrangements, with only employees responsible for essential operations, including some research labs, remaining on campus.

The university also canceled the spring sports season, spring commencement ceremonies and most summer camps, and moved three of its four summer sessions to online-only instruction. At that time, university officials said that the fourth summer session would provide a mix of online and in-person instruction.

In June, Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani announced plans to begin the fall semester Monday, Aug. 24, as planned, but added that courses may be delivered online, in-person or as hybrid courses that combine in-person and online instruction.

New precautions in place

To prepare for next week’s arrival of students, Missouri S&T officials have adopted several new practices to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. These practices include:

  • Screening of all students as they come to campus.
  • Recommending all students self-quarantine at home 14 days prior to coming to campus.
  • Requiring an additional seven-day on-campus quarantine for all students living in residence halls or other university-approved housing, such as fraternities and sororities and the Christian Campus House.
  • Testing for students who may exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever or cough, and isolation if necessary.
  • A requirement for all students, faculty and staff to wear face coverings in classrooms, labs, common areas or locations where physical distancing of six feet or more is not possible. Instructors will wear face shields in classrooms to better accommodate students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Hand sanitizer stations and touchless thermometers in all buildings.
  • On-site temperature-taking at high-traffic, high-gathering areas.
  • Reconfigured classrooms and meeting spaces to address physical distancing (social distancing) issues and allow for smaller gatherings.
  • Signage and educational information to help students, faculty, staff and visitors limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing of frequently used areas.

All students, faculty and staff are all encouraged to take the Miner Pledge to indicate their commitment to protect themselves, their campus and the community by following best practices to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Further planning for the fall semester

As Missouri S&T moves forward with plans to open campus by Aug. 24, the university is taking additional precautions. They include:

  • Extended time for students to move in to their residence halls, fraternity or sorority houses, or other housing between Saturday, Aug. 15, and Monday, Aug. 17.
  • Adjustments to Opening Week, the one-week orientation for first-year and transfer students, to minimize exposure. This includes moving some activities to an online environment and reducing the number of students involved in projects and programming. Opening Week, or “O Week,” is held the week before the start of the semester.
  • Fourteen days of self-quarantine for returning students from different parts of the country or from abroad.

For more information about the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit coronavirus.mst.edu.

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 8,000 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 99 different degree programs in 40 areas of study, including engineering, the sciences, business and information technology, the humanities, and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T is known globally and is highly ranked for providing a high return on tuition investment, exceptional career opportunities for graduates, and an emphasis on applied, hands-on learning through student design teams and cooperative education and internship opportunities. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit https://www.mst.edu.

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