Messiah announces changes to its spring semester

New information will be posted on this blog as it is made available. Please check this blog frequently, as information related to this issue is changing rapidly. There are additional details on Messiah’ FAQ page for COVID-19 on our emergency response website.

Note: Messiah College does not have any reported or confirmed cases of the COVID-2019 Novel Coronavirus as of the time and date of this posting.

Undergraduate students

Today Messiah College announced that it will be extending spring break for students through Tuesday, March 24. The College will begin online instruction for all undergraduate coursework beginning on Wednesday, March 25, through Thursday, April 9. Faculty will communicate directly with students about course specifics through Canvas.

Easter break for students will proceed as planned (Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13). The College will continue to assess the COVID-19 public health situation and will announce a decision no later than 5 p.m. on April 7 as to whether in-person classes will resume on Tuesday, April 14.

Students who leave campus for spring break are asked not to return to campus prior to Monday, April 13. For international students who are already on campus, and students who must return to campus due to extenuating and/or compelling circumstances, we will work with you on an individual basis to make special visit or housing arrangements. Students should complete this form at https://www.messiah.edu/forms/form/730/en/returning_to_campus.  While the residence halls remain open, dining options will be provided for students. Please note as the public health situation with COVID-19 changes, the College reserves the right to close residence halls and change dining options within a 24-hour notice.

Graduate students

For graduate students who are enrolled in online programs, their schedules will proceed as normal (online instruction resumes March 16).

For graduate students enrolled in residential programs (DPT and MOT), spring break will be extended by two days and classes will begin online on March 18. Faculty will communicate directly with students about course specifics through Canvas.

Administrative and staff employees

 Administrative and staff employees will continue to report to work as scheduled.

Faculty

Faculty should be working to transition their coursework to online format. Communication containing additional details for faculty will be coming from the Office of the Provost within the next 24 hours.

Cancellation of all spring break college-sponsored travel

Yesterday afternoon, Messiah made the decision to cancel all college-sponsored spring break travel—both international and domestic. This includes all academic and service/mission trips, concert choir tour, and athletic teams traveling for spring break training. Students, educators and employees directly impacted by this decision were notified by the College last evening. College leadership is meeting with those group leaders today to process their immediate questions.

Today the College made the additional decision to cancel all employee college-sponsored travel during spring break.

Previously Messiah had only been restricting international travel in regions that are CDC Warning Level 2 or 3 for COVID-19. However, with the rapidly changing spread of the virus both abroad and domestically, and the WHO’s declaration of a global pandemic, the College decided that the current travel environment is too volatile and unpredictable for any college-sponsored travel at this time.

The College is strongly discouraging all non-essential personal travel for students and employees. All students and employees are expected to follow the CDC guidelines for travel, including self-quarantine procedures for a minimum of 14 days if they have been potentially exposed to COVID-19.

Please continue to follow this blog for additional breaking communication.