Mines anticipating full return to in-person classes in fall

School will continue to monitor situation with virus, admin says

Staff Report
Posted 3/23/21

One year after the start of one of the most unusual periods in its history, Colorado School of Mines has announced that life on campus should feel much more normal at the start of its next school …

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Mines anticipating full return to in-person classes in fall

School will continue to monitor situation with virus, admin says

Posted

One year after the start of one of the most unusual periods in its history, Colorado School of Mines has announced that life on campus should feel much more normal at the start of its next school year.

That’s because the school is currently designing all of its classes and labs for the fall 2021 semester for in-person delivery, according to a press release.

The school is also anticipating that all classrooms, teaching labs and research spaces will return to their pre-COVID-19 capacities when the semester beings on Aug. 23. However, the release noted that Mines “will continue to monitor and adapt to changing conditions.”

“Given the projections for vaccine availability, we are planning to return in Fall 2021 to full in-person course delivery, vibrant on-campus living/learning communities and providing the distinctive on-campus learning experience that Mines is known for,” said Mines President Paul C. Johnson and Provost Richard C. Holz in a message to the campus on March 12.

Like all colleges, Mines has experienced significant disruptions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, when the school announced all classes would be conducted online to finish the Spring 2020 semester.

Last summer, Mines began offering a mix of in-person and online courses and instruction - with students having the option to have all of their course work be delivered remotely.

According to a press release, 70% of the classes offered at Mines during the 2020-2021 have included an in-person component.

As Mines awaits the availability of vaccines for students, Summer 2021 courses will be offered both in-person and remotely. Most lecture courses will be delivered either in an online or remote format, while labs and design classes will be held in-person in de-densified classrooms. Field session courses will be offered in person when possible, in line with public health guidance.  

“As we move to full in-person course delivery this fall, Mines will continue to follow public health guidelines to maintain a safe campus environment,” Johnson and Holz wrote. 

In the event of unforeseen circumstances that do not allow for a full return to campus, Mines will pursue a plan for Fall 2021 similar to those in place for the 2020-21 academic year, with both in-person and remote options available and more than 70 percent of all classes having some in-person component in de-densified classrooms. 

“There is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and we are excited about being back together and having a much more normal fall semester,” Johnson and Holz said.  

According to the release, Mines launched a COVID-19 testing program in partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado, as well as an in-house COVID-19 response initiator team, at the start of the school year. That team continues to lead contact tracing and reporting activities, and directs quarantine and isolation efforts on campus.  

According to the Mines website, 248 people, including 229 students, 4 faculty members and 15 staff members, have tested positive for COVID-19 at Mines as of January 1. There were 417 active cases, including 382 students, 12 faculty and 23 staff members, from Aug. 17 to Dec. 31.

As of March 16, there were 32 active cases of COVID-19 among people affiliated with the Mines campus.

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