St. Olaf College | News

Oles will return

From its founding, St. Olaf College has been devoted to residential teaching and learning. Our students want to live in community with one another, on a campus where learning occurs in and out of the classroom. We want that, too.

We are committed to delivering the St. Olaf experience, in person and on campus, as soon as we safely can.

In the coming months, most experts predict that social distancing and other public health measures will make significant contributions to the containment and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are cautiously optimistic that with careful planning, we will be able to welcome Oles to campus this fall. However, until a vaccine is developed, it is likely that the virus will continue to be a threat to public health. The health and safety of our students and employees will always come first as we work to ensure that St. Olaf provides a high-quality learning and living environment for all  students.

St. Olaf’s approach to the 2020-21 academic year will be based on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and other state and federal agencies. Our goal is to enable all students to complete an academic year of on-campus instruction. If we are compelled to delay a start to October or November, we will have a plan for living and learning — safely — in community with one another while also advancing the goal of completing the academic year. Remote learning, or an abbreviated academic calendar, will be considered only as a last resort, and our goal continues to be minimizing the use of these options to whatever extent possible.

The anxiety and stress of the unknown is understandable, and we will continue to do everything we can to move this process forward in a timely, informed way. We will provide updates as our plans evolve with the goal of having a final plan by June 1.