TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has announced plans to continue in-person instruction for summer and fall 2021.
Before the start of the 2020-21 academic year, the top-ranked engineering college implemented a comprehensive return to campus plan that included pre-return and ongoing COVID-19 surveillance testing of the entire campus population throughout the year.
Rose-Hulman has been able to successfully navigate the current academic year with students receiving instruction in-person, online and via a hybrid of both.
“Thanks to the efforts of the entire campus community, our COVID-19 positivity rate has been considerably lower than state and national averages, and has continued to decline this calendar year,” Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons said. “After consultation with our campus health experts and leadership team, I’m confident that if we continue to trend in the right direction and individuals in our community get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, we’ll be able to increase our in-person experiences by summer.”
Rose-Hulman has conducted more than 47,000 tests since May 2020, with an overall positivity rate of about 0.4%. The availability of safe and effective vaccines has given the campus another tool in the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, Coons added, and the majority of the campus community getting vaccinated before the start of the Fall Quarter will be key to continued progress.
“Vaccinations are a critical tool in our fight against the pandemic and an important step on the path to getting our campus back to some sense of a ‘new normal,’” he said.
While many traditional in-person events like the fall career fair and homecoming were held in a virtual setting in 2020, plans are beginning to resume for more in-person events, starting with Commencement this May for the Class of 2021.
“We’ll continue to evaluate future plans in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines, and will be ready to pivot if necessary, but I’m excited about the prospects of resuming some of our long-standing traditions in-person as we wrap up this academic year and head into the next,” Coons said. “Our focus during this historical year has been clear, our efforts sincere, and our dedication to provide the world’s best STEM education in an environment of individual attention and support remains unwavering.”