James Rada, Jr.
Mount St. Mary’s University is planning for a return to near-normal operations and face-to-face instruction for undergraduate students in Fall 2021. Remote teaching and learning options will only be available by exception.
While the vast majority of Mount students are safely living, learning, and engaging in activities, such as athletics on campus in the current academic year, classes are being offered in a hybrid format to maintain physical distancing protocols. Multiple co-curricular activities are only presented via Zoom, and approximately 15 percent of students are learning in a fully remote environment.
“With vaccination rates increasing, we expect that a sufficient percentage of our community will be vaccinated by the end of summer to significantly reduce the transmission of coronavirus. As a result, our planning for the fall is based on the expectation that we will be approaching pre-COVID-19 conditions,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “This not only means a return to full on-campus instruction, but also the complete range of on-campus living, learning, research, service, and extracurricular activities that are a major part of the Mount experience.”
Undergraduate classes will begin Monday, August 23, with first-year students moving in on August 19. The full undergraduate academic calendar, including a fall break, is available here.
The university anticipates offering study-abroad opportunities starting in December 2021, with a winter break trip to Spain that includes a six-credit Spanish course. Full-semester programs in Florence, Italy and Cuenca, Ecuador are being planned for the Spring 2022 semester, as well as shorter spring break trips to London and Southern Spain in 2022.
Health standards will be applied to all activities, so there may be some changes from how the university operated in 2019, but it will look more normal than 2020-21.
These plans are based on projections and are subject to change as needed to address reality in the fall. Based on guidance from public health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maryland Department of Health, and Frederick County Health Department, decisions about whether masks will be required in classrooms and other indoor and outdoor campus areas, as well as COVID-19 testing protocols, will be finalized in the summer.
The Mount Safe Initiative webpage will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.
“We will be ready again in August to welcome students on campus,” Trainor said.