Randolph College to move classes online for fall semester

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 10:20 AM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Randolph College will move its classes online for the upcoming fall semester.

The college originally planned for students to return to campus in the fall, but President Bradley W. Bateman said recent developments prompted a change.

In a message to the Randolph community, Bateman said 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.”

The college said it has improved its technology and online offerings following the abrupt shift to remote learning in the spring. Various virtual experiences will be planned to help students stay engaged with one another and the college.

“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.”

Randolph College hopes to resume in-person classes in the spring, but says a decision on that will be made later in the fall.

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