COVID-19 information and updates – current CARES level Alert

Visit the CDC COVID-19 website for health and safety precautions.


Academic Calendar

  • Hesston College will open as scheduled and in-person with the first day of classes on August 17.
  • The academic calendar has been condensed with no scheduled breaks (i.e. fall break, spring break). The fall semester will run from August 17 through December 9.

Student Attendance/Seating Charts

  • The current Hesston College attendance policy will be in effect in the fall, and faculty members may have other attendance guidelines for their particular classes as stated in their syllabi. If needed, faculty members will adapt the attendance policy without grade consequences if they have been exposed to the virus or experience symptoms.
  • Faculty must keep up-to-date with attendance records for the purposes of contact tracing and issue assigned seating to aid with physical distancing requirements, limit the number of surface touch points and contact tracing purposes.

Face Coverings

  • Face masks are required for all faculty and students in a classroom. For certain learning activities that are made more difficult by wearing a mask, faculty may invite students to temporarily remove their masks as long as six feet or more of physical distance is maintained between individuals.
  • Face shields may be utilized when professors are lecturing in the front of the classroom while maintaining six feet or more of physical distance.
  • Face masks should not be removed in classrooms for the purposes of eating or drinking while class is in session. Food and drinks should be consumed outside of classrooms, between classes or during breaks. Physical distance from others should be maintained while eating or drinking.
  • Students who are not compliant with mask expectations will be asked by faculty to leave the classroom and return when they are able to wear a mask and protect others in the room. Students who repeatedly violate the policy or who present an unwillingness to comply are not “behaving in a manner appropriate for a college classroom” and are “disrupting class,” and they may be administratively withdrawn from the course.

Classroom Disinfection and Seating Capacities

  • Students will be provided with disinfecting wipes upon entering classrooms to wipe down their desks and hand sanitizer stations will be installed at all building entrances.
  • Classrooms will be assigned to appropriately accommodate differently-sized courses and furniture will be arranged and/or marked to help students maintain appropriate distances within the space. Signs reminding all entrants to wear a mask and informing of the specific space capacity will be posted outside of each classroom and conference room.
  • Each door of classroom buildings and dormitories will be marked as an entrance or exit to allow for traffic flow and reminders to remain outside until the classroom is available.

Student/Faculty Illness

  • Students are required to monitor their own temperatures and may not attend any class if their current temperature is 100.4°F or higher. Students with other symptoms listed in the Daily Self Screen process should isolate themselves and notify their professors.
  • When a professor is aware that one or more students will miss class due to illness or preventive isolation, the class should be live-streamed or recorded via the webcam. Streaming/recording of classes is meant to help students missing class to continue to make progress.
  • The above criteria also applies to faculty.
  • Faculty are expected to prepare their Moodle pages and lesson plans more than two weeks in advance. Should a professor need to isolate or become ill, a plan should be in place for students to continue working online at their own pace or for a colleague to manage the course content until the professor is able to return to the classroom or is no longer ill.
  • If a student or professor tests positive for COVID-19, it may become necessary to temporarily suspend classes in a classroom or building in order to clean and disinfect the space. Faculty should be prepared to teach their classes remotely or provide alternative virtual learning activities if a class is unable to meet for one or more days during the cleaning process.
  • Conference-style webcams will be strategically placed in academic buildings for professors to use on an as-needed basis.

Hybrid Courses

  • All Fall 2020 courses are (at a minimum) hybrid courses, since classroom-based instruction will move to a virtual environment after Thanksgiving.
  • Faculty are encouraged to prepare course content for a virtual learning environment through Moodle and then use classroom time for learning activities that are most effective when done face-to-face.
  • Faculty are welcome to reduce the amount of in-class seat time and increase the hybrid nature of their courses prior to Thanksgiving.
  • Faculty teaching hybrid courses should still plan to meet with their students face-to-face at least weekly.
  • Faculty should be prepared for a full transition to remote learning at any time. Such a decision will be based upon the requirements of government officials, the recommendations of local health officers and/or identification of substantial community transmission on campus.

Office Hours/Meetings

  • Faculty are expected to continue to hold office hours, but they may be virtual office hours, as long as students clearly know what to expect.
  • For those faculty who do not have offices large enough to accommodate six feet of physical distancing (along with mask use), office hours should be held in an alternative location or virtually.
  • Committee and other meetings should be held in a room large enough to accommodate six feet of physical distancing (along with mask use), if not held virtually. Chairs of committees should work to ensure that the needs and concerns of group members are met when scheduling meetings.