WWU Looks Forward to Classes on Campus in the Fall

June 25, 2020 | Education | Kim Strobel

Walla Walla University will welcome students back to its campuses in fall for the 2020–2021 academic school year, prioritizing safety and quality education, announced John McVay, WWU president, on May 21, 2020. “We believe that a strong, active community is absolutely central to the education provided here at Walla Walla University,” he says.

University officials are working diligently on strategies to facilitate on-campus instruction, says McVay. Local health officials will help identify coronavirus prevention measures and options for testing and treatment. Significant emphasis will be placed on illness prevention and community health.

“Meanwhile, we remain fully focused on Walla Walla University’s mission, and I’m heartened by our students’ strong intent to come back and continue building their lives in community with each other,” says McVay.

After an unprecedented end to winter quarter with final exams held online, classes for spring and summer quarters were also completed online. “Students, faculty and staff tell me they dearly miss our close-knit community, and they are working hard to stay connected with one another,” says McVay.

What will fall on WWU campuses look like?

To ensure careful planning, McVay appointed a Return-to-Campus Taskforce comprised of faculty, staff and student representation that is identifying, developing and deploying strategies to facilitate instruction on WWU campuses for fall quarter. McVay says the work of the taskforce is guided by the following principles:

  • Academic strength and integrity — Teaching is at the heart of WWU. Whether face-to-face, online or in hybrid formats, WWU faculty are committed to building engaging learning experiences that support student success.
  • Attention from faculty and staff — Regardless of format, WWU remains committed to being accessible and establishing personal connections with students.
  • Community — Engagement with one another is essential to quality education, and WWU will continue to nurture the kind of robust, close-knit community it is known for.
  • Responsibility — Safety is not just a mandate. WWU recognizes it as an opportunity to express care for one another and our local communities.
  • Hope — Together we can create an experience that will be meaningful and strengthen WWU students, both now and for the future.

As the Return-to-Campus Taskforce addresses a lengthy list of complex details and questions — ranging from residence hall occupancy and distancing in classrooms and offices to tracking and testing plans — they anticipate changes to the normal WWU classroom experiences, living routines and social activities. Local health officials will help identify prevention measures as well as routine testing and treatment options. The WWU campus family will see significant attention on matters of illness prevention and community health.

Watch for regular updates from McVay at www.wallawalla.edu/coronavirus, where you can also share your comments and questions.

Classes Will Start...

Classes on the College Place campus will begin Sept. 14, two weeks earlier than normal, and will conclude Nov. 24. Students on the College Place campus will be invited to move into residence halls in phases by appointment according to class standing starting Sept. 4. JumpStart, the new student orientation on the College Place campus, will begin Sept. 8.

Classes on the Portland campus will begin Sept. 28 and will continue through Nov. 24. Portland campus students will finish the rest of the quarter online, concluding with online final exams Dec. 7 to 9.

Classes for the master of social work programs on the College Place and Montana campuses will begin Sept. 21 and will conclude Nov. 24.

For all campuses, WWU expect winter quarter to begin as currently scheduled on Jan. 4, 2021.