MONMOUTH, ILLINOIS (June 16, 2020) — Monmouth College will start the fall semester early and conclude classes before Thanksgiving.

Classes will now start on August 18, eight days earlier than the originally planned start of the 2020 fall semester. Fall classes will end November 24, two weeks earlier than originally planned. Fall break has been eliminated, and the campus will close for most students at Thanksgiving. Finals will be administered remotely after Thanksgiving.

"Our goal has always been to act upon the best information we have regarding the COVID-19 pandemic," said Monmouth Dean of the Faculty Mark Willhardt. "Many models indicate that if a resurgence occurs, it is more likely to occur in late fall. Our hope is that ending at Thanksgiving will allow us our best chance of completing the semester in person."

Willhardt noted that research "indicates that best practice is not to allow large populations to gather, return home, then gather again, only to return home a short time later."

"Based on the information we have, the new academic schedule allows us to meet our educational goals best while also protecting our community," he said.

Even with a new fall semester schedule, the College will maintain "a degree of flexibility that we have not before," said Willhardt.

"Some of our students simply won't be able to return to us, because of preexisting medical conditions, for instance, or proximity to others who are immunocompromised," he said. "It also means that some of us will continue to teach remotely, for the same reasons. Regardless, we will find ways to work with all of our students, no matter the situation."

The College's faculty and staff will begin returning to campus July 1 to prepare for the 2020 fall semester. More information about the Monmouth College Return to Campus Plan is available here.

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