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William Woods University announces revision of fall semester 2020 academic schedule

Undergraduate classes to resume one week earlier in August, finish earlier in November

In a nod to campus and community health and safety, William Woods University(WWU) announced today a revision to its 2020 fall semester class schedule that will begin in August.

Fall semester classes on the WWU campus in Fulton will now begin on Monday, August 17, one week earlier than the originally scheduled start date of Monday, August 24. In addition, in-person classes will end at the University’s Thanksgiving break in November, followed by final exams which will be conducted in an online format the following week of November 30-December 4. To accommodate the required number of class days, the University will also hold classes on Labor Day and cancel its October fall break.

The decision to move the start of the fall semester up by a week is a result of ongoing consultation of local, state and federal health guidelines and information, and best practices for keeping members of the University community healthy.

“Our priority has always been the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors,” said Dr. Jahnae Barnett, President of William Woods University. “By starting and ending our fall semester one week earlier, we increase the chance we can hold in-person instruction before any potential resurgence of positive COVID-19 cases. We would also decrease the risk of students going home during breaks and then returning to campus, and potentially spreading the virus.”

The University has developed a comprehensive health and safety plan to ensure the well-being of everyone in the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors, including the following:  

  • Adopting increased campus cleaning protocols of all public spaces, using products approved by the Centers for Disease Control designed to safely eliminate the COVID-19 virus within 10 seconds. Particular attention is being paid to doorknobs, railings, touchpoints, restrooms and corridors in buildings that have been reopened.
  • Providing all employees with cleaning products to disinfect and sanitize their own personal workplaces, and the cleaning and replacement of all filters for campus HVAC systems.  
  • Scheduling classes in rooms that allow students to sit 6-8 feet apart, with an ongoing emphasis on physical distancing protocols in place across campus.
  • Evaluating residential living and dining hall environments for best practices with physical distancing requirements.
  • Making all coursework available online, in addition to in-person classes, to maximize flexibility of delivery for each course and provide convenience for students who are temporarily unable to attend class in person for a period of time.
  • Ensuring student access to the campus Health Center, staffed by an experienced nurse practitioner.
  • Continuing reliance on the University’s strong partnership with the Callaway County Department of Health, consulting with the agency regularly to review and strengthen health and safety policies on a constant basis.