Coronavirus Student Update: Fall 2020 Academic Plan – June 19, 2020

Update as of June 19, 2020

Dear St. Kate’s Students,

As summer in Minnesota settles in, we hope this message finds you and your loved ones well. We are excited to welcome you back to St. Kate’s for the fall semester and to share our current plans for classes.

This has proven to be a year of unknowns and challenges, and we anticipate the summer and fall will continue to reveal new ways for us to navigate our forever evolving world. One of our best courses of action is to continue to advance our mission to educate women to lead and influence – preparing our students and graduates to help address the critical issues our world is currently facing and those that are yet to come. And we will do so with safety and care for our community at the forefront, ensuring a healthy environment for us to live, work, and learn. 

Fall 2020 Academic Plan

The following details provide our initial plans for welcoming students back to campus this fall. This plan is based on our best knowledge and information as it is known today and on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), other health experts, and our Safe Return to Campus Committee (SRC). The plan also takes into account the insights we have gathered to date from our summer term, in which we are engaging in limited on-campus classes to understand our challenges and opportunities in welcoming our community back to campus. We know and understand that public health conditions related to COVID-19 will continue to change, and our plans allow us to be flexible and adapt quickly to changes as they arise while maintaining the health and safety of our community.

Fall Courses

Our academic plans are based on maintaining health and safety while continuing to ensure the quality academic experience you know and expect from St. Kate’s. We assessed seven options and selected the one that we believe best ensures students have access to a rigorous curriculum designed to maximize their learning in this current environment. (Please note: The following does not apply to the OTA online program.)

  • Courses will be delivered in three formats: face-to-face, hybrid, and online. 
    • Face-to-face courses have been prioritized based on the need to have access to specialized equipment and/or lab spaces.

    • More details, including delivery format by course, will be shared and available in early July once the full schedule is finalized.

    • Faculty will include specific details about course delivery, synchronous/asynchronous format for online classes, and other information students will need in their syllabi, which will be available two weeks before classes start. 

  • We follow the current academic calendar with classes starting on September 9 and ending on December 20. Some class times will be altered to allow for safe social distancing and cleaning between face-to-face classes as well as longer breaks between online sessions to allow students to transition from one topic to the next. More details will be provided in July.

On-Campus Housing and Dining

The University is working to finalize housing and dining plans for the fall semester, based on guidance from the CDC, MDH, and local public health experts. At this time, we know we will be required to modify on-campus housing options for this fall in order to allow for safe social distancing. We also need to intentionally plan for students to quarantine if they are the contact of someone with COVID-19, and additional space and support for students who test positive and need to be isolated on campus.

We understand this means we may not be able to immediately offer housing to everyone who is interested in living on campus. We will be updating our housing agreements to allow greater flexibility, with the hope of increasing our capacity if the public health situation improves. A final decision about housing priority and the updated assignment process will be announced by the end of June. Our Residence Life and Housing teams will be in touch with more detailed information for both returning students who have applied for housing, as well as for new incoming students who are interested in living on campus.

Additionally, meal plans and dining options will be adjusted to align with the selected housing options and campus-based activities to ensure all health and safety precautions are in place for on-campus food and beverage services. There will be multiple order ahead options, as well as increased grab-and-go options. All students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to order and pay ahead for food and beverage services as we support contactless pick up.

Next Steps

We know you will have additional questions regarding the fall semester, and we will share updates and information as it is available. We also continue to work closely with both our internal and external experts to ensure fall is a safe and healthy semester for you all. If you have questions, please contact us at

Peace and blessings,

Becky Roloff

Anita Thomas, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost