Aquinas College successfully ends semester of in-person learning

College students had to adjust to in-person instruction.
College students had to adjust to in-person instruction.(Aquinas College)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 10:16 PM EST
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) - Aquinas College has ended a semester of nearly 14 weeks of in-person instruction.

Aquinas College says that while they offered 85 percent of classes in-person, there were no recorded COVID-19 exposures.

“Our goal as an institution was to provide as normal and as safe an experience as possible for as long as possible for our students,” said President Kevin G. Quinn. “The fact that we were able to accomplish that goal is the direct result of the strong character of our students, faculty and staff. For us, it clearly demonstrates the Aquinas College difference and that small can be mighty.”

Here’s what the college did to obtain these results:

  • Created a revised academic calendar in August and started one week earlier than planned
  • Employed a strategy using the college’s values of community and individual responsibility
  • Used a daily health monitoring program that was executed in close partnership with the local health department
  • Common spaces on campus were modified to reduce capacities
  • Athletes practiced in functional teams
  • Tended to the mental health and emotional well-being of students through utilizing on-campus resources

“Students at Aquinas College are getting a top-notch liberal arts education, but our campus culture and commitment goes beyond the classroom,” President Quinn said. “We are committed to educating the whole person. Our students are learning that their fields of study exist in the context of a larger society and that the decisions they make have an effect that ripples through the community.”

“Our institution was able to be flexible and nimble during a time of rapid change,” said Nick Davidson, associate vice president for student affairs and athletics. “Our team did everything from deliver three meals a day to our students in isolation to set up outdoor classrooms in order to continue to provide care and support for their academic and personal goals.”

As their in-person classes ended on November 17 in compliance with the state health department’s order, Aquinas College will complete the rest of their fall semester remotely.

To read more about Aquinas Colleges’ COVID-19 implementation plan, click here.

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