Cornerstone University announces return-to-campus plans

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Cornerstone University Courtesy Cornerstone University

Cornerstone University has rolled out a partial plan to resume in-person classes and on-campus residency this fall.

“During the past 11 weeks of COVID-19, the response of students, staff and faculty has been incredibly resilient,” said Dr. Joe Stowell, Cornerstone University president. “CU has demonstrated a commitment to support our students’ safety and their academic success. Now, we turn our complete attention to students’ return in September. Given that they are the life of our university, we cannot wait to have them back on campus.”

The university has released a Return to Operations plan that highlights the process in which classes will be held on campus. According to the plan, social distancing will be implemented during in-person classes and students will have the options of remote synchronized (real-time to the in-classroom experience) learning.

The plan also includes a contingency plan for classes to adapt course materials and assessments if forced to move online. The university has invested in classroom technology for both on-campus and online learning. There also is an investment in student resources for academic support, technology training, career counseling and mental health wellness.

“We’ll be ready to serve our students with a complete on-campus learning experience,” Stowell said. “But, if the state of Michigan or our community dictate suspension of on- ground operations, we will be prepared for seamless transitions of part or all of our academics. We are committed to providing our students with a premium Christ-centered education amidst a variety of public health scenarios.”

To impose additional health safety measures, the university will enforce physical distancing, campus sanitization, illness triage, virus testing and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to Stowell, the university has an inventory of masks to comply with Kent County and state of Michigan executive orders. Campus personnel is trained in utilizing CDC recommended cleaning agents, equipment, techniques and protocols. The university also has employed a third-party contractor to provide a quick response and “deep clean” of any area when needed.

“Cornerstone is blessed to have an expansive physical campus that offers tremendous flexibility and space in residence halls, meeting facilities, dining commons and athletic facilities,” Stowell said. “Our plan will reduce occupancy density, optimize distancing and maximize sanitization.”

The university will execute self-screening, tracking and tracing mechanisms for those with symptoms of COVID-19 and self-isolation, quarantine and support for those who have tested positive for the virus. There will be measures for those individuals who are immuno-vulnerable.

Full details regarding measures to mitigate the spread of illness will be released later this month.

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