Elmhurst College announced on Tuesday, May 5, that planning has begun for in-person, campus-based learning and living to resume in August, when the campus begins its first academic year as Elmhurst University.

“We believe the best Elmhurst experience is an on-campus experience—it’s personal, student-focused, lived in an atmosphere of community, and defined by how we look out for each other and tackle challenges together,” said President Troy D. VanAken. “So over the next few months, we’ll be working very hard to welcome our students back to campus in a way that prioritizes their safety and well-being while offering the best education possible.”

These are some of the areas that will be addressed:

• The return to an in-person campus experience will require additional public-health precautions in classrooms, dining and residence halls, and athletic facilities. Elmhurst College will expand its capacities to offer testing, contact tracing, sanitization and other health-safety protocols in order to respond quickly to any cases that may arise.

• The College will continue to work closely with the City of Elmhurst, Elmhurst Hospital, the DuPage County Health Department and other health partners at the local, state and federal levels.

• As a college that has always been committed to offering small classes (the average class size is 18 students), Elmhurst may be better positioned than larger institutions to abide by any physical distancing policies that may be in effect, and to accommodate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) best practices.       

• Nationally recognized for the quality of its teaching, Elmhurst will continue to develop innovative, flexible and robust learning options for its students.

• Understanding the ongoing economic impact of the crisis, Elmhurst will offer enhanced financial aid opportunities for the hardest-hit families, and will continue to raise money for the Bluejay Nest Fund, the student emergency fund.

In anticipation of students’ return to campus in the fall, significant improvement projects will go ahead for some campus facilities. The College also will proceed with the highly anticipated launch of new academic programs in cyber security and public health, two programs that have never been more relevant in today’s highly interconnected world.

“As we navigate the new realities caused by the COVID-19 crisis, I hope that both current and prospective college students will continue to prioritize their education,” President VanAken said. “More than ever, the world needs the knowledge and skills they will develop in college and bring to their endeavors after they graduate. We will be here for them as they continue to make this vital investment in themselves and their future.”

The most recent information on Elmhurst College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is available at elmhurst.edu/covid-19-updates.


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