Limestone To Resume Campus Instruction For Fall 2020 Semester
Limestone College, which will move to university status at the end of this month, has announced that it will resume in-person classes for the fall term that begins in mid-August.
After consulting with state health experts amid developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, Limestone announced in March that it would complete the remainder of the recent spring semester online. While there were no face-to-face classes, the Limestone campus remained open for students who did not wish to leave or to travel back home. Residence halls, dining services, academic support, and other limited services continued to be open and available for over 100 students who remained on campus.
The upcoming fall semester at Limestone will include full operations, such as on-campus housing and dining services, along with face-to-face instruction. For those who prefer remote learning, Limestone offers many programs online. For many years, Limestone has led private South Carolina institutions in the number of online and nontraditional students enrolled.
Limestone officials explain they are also doing ongoing contingency planning to account for continued developments based on analysis and research by public health experts.
For the fall semester, Limestone will implement policies regarding social distancing measures, residential hall living and dining arrangements, classroom configurations, event sizes, and more. Limestone has appointed sub-committees from its Crisis Response Team to assist in the development of fall semester procedures.
“Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Limestone President Dr. Darrell Parker. “We are committed to assisting our students in making choices that will reduce the risk of exposure. In achieving that goal, we will be able to be fully operational to deliver the highest possible level of service and teaching to our students. We feel it is vitally important to provide the kind of on-campus college experience that students look forward to each fall with the start of a new academic year.”
Parker added that Limestone will communicate details related to its fall semester operating plan to students in the coming weeks, while also noting that the protocols could be modified based on future developments related to the coronavirus.
The first phase of Limestone’s fall semester procedures came last week when the spring 2020 graduation ceremony was held on May 29, using social distancing guidelines outside in Gaffney High School’s football stadium. That in-person graduation was the first of its kind for any higher education institution in South Carolina since the COVID-19 crisis. The commencement was followed by having graduating students, family, and friends visit the Limestone campus to take photos and enjoy provided refreshments.
Limestone’s next step toward its upcoming semester operations will come in July as fall season athletics preparations – including getting geared up for the upcoming football season – will resume as the Saints’ student-athletes will begin returning to campus for training sessions authorized by the NCAA.