Hastings College

Hastings College announced on Tuesday that it would be bringing students back to campus for a regular fall semester schedule, but with contingencies in place in the event of further disruptions related to the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

The plan was laid out this week in a letter to students and parents.

On Tuesday, the Great Plains Athletic Conference announced its plan to allow fall athletic practices to begin on Aug. 15, with competitions beginning in September, although schedules will be modified.

With fall practices scheduled, Hastings College set move-in dates for fall athletes, as well as all new and returning students.

Fall athletes will move in on Aug. 12-16, and coaches will notify athletes with details. Incoming first-year students move in on Aug. 15-16, with returning students to follow on Aug. 16-18.

The college is maintaining its fall schedule as planned, with classes beginning on Aug. 19 and wrapping up for the semester on Dec. 18. By contrast, some other institutions of higher learning in Nebraska are planning to modify their academic calendar so the fall semester can wrap up in late November.

If public health officials mandate a return to remote learning during the semester, Hastings College is prepared to do so, either at the start of a block as it did in March, or even during a block if necessary.

The college’s COVID-19 response team has created a number of plans based on various scenarios that could play out this fall. It’s likely directed health measures will change again over the summer, so HC officials are holding off on finalizing details while working in partnership with the South Heartland District Health Department, Mary Lanning Healthcare and other colleges to understand the best ways to create a safe and healthy environment for students.

Updates will be shared with students and posted on the school’s COVID-19 webpage.

Like all other Nebraska colleges and universities, Hastings College saw its spring semester disrupted by the novel coronavirus disease pandemic. Students left the college for spring break on March 12-13, then had to finish the semester from home through online instruction. A remote commencement ceremony was streamed on the internet May 16.