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Plan for Fall 2020 | FAQs

Health & Safety

Yes, Moravian College is following the PA Department of Education's checklist, seen below, that has been compiled for "Determining an Institution’s Ability to Mitigate and Manage Risk and the Level at Which It May Resume In-Person and Other Related Operations on Campus." This checklist is included in the PA Department of Education's web page titled Phased Strategies, Expectation, and Considerations for Safely Resuming In-Person Instruction in Pennsylvania.

Step 1: Determine Your Institution's Preparedness to Mitigate and Manage Risks

  • Is the decision to resume in-person instruction consistent with state and local orders?
  • Have you developed a plan consistent with the minimum requirements and expectations put forth by PDE?
  • Have you begun to coordinate with local public health or emergency management officials?
  • Do you have a strategy for the monitoring health conditions on your campus?
  • Are you able to communicate accurate and timely information on COVID-19 related developments to staff, faculty, and students?
  • Does your plan include a strategy for quarantine and isolation in the event transmission occurs on your campus or the county is designated as being in the red phase?

If YES to all, your institution is prepared to consider resuming in-person instruction and other related operations as permitted by the Governor's orders.

NOTE: Guidance and general considerations associated with some of the items in the checklist are provided in Section II of the Preliminary Guidance for Resuming In-Person Instruction at Postsecondary Education Institutions and Adult Education Programs.

Step 2: Determine Your Institution's Capacity to Resume In-Person Instruction CheckmarkDo you have a plan and adequate supplies to reinforce practices related to hygiene, sanitation, and face coverings on campus?

  • Have you begun to implement necessary social distancing interventions needed to safely resume in-person instruction and other related operations on campus?
  • Have you made the necessary modifications to your facilities to help create an environment conducive to healthy, safe, and inclusive learning?
  • Have you reviewed and made adjustments to attendance requirements, absentee policies, and non-essential travel for students, individuals at high risk for COVID-19, and personnel?
  • Have you modified course modalities, schedules, and academic calendars to adapt to the changing transmission levels and community spread of the virus?

If YES to all, your institution is prepared to make determinations about the provision of in-person instruction and the possible number of students you can accommodate on your campus.

NOTE: Guidance and general considerations associated with some of the items in the checklist are provided in Section II of the Preliminary Guidance for Resuming In-Person Instruction at Postsecondary Education Institutions and Adult Education Programs.

These steps can be found on the PA Department of Education website under the section titled Considerations for Resuming In-Person Instruction on Campus.


As staffing on-site increases and operations expand, campus healthcare personnel will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it. Testing will be a critical part of assessing the impact of increased staffing. If localized outbreaks emerge, tighter restrictions and reduced staffing may need to be implemented again.


Facilities Management, Planning and Construction (FMPC) teams will clean high-touch areas daily in addition to the overnight cleaning of office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection and Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) protocols. FMPC will also maintain hand-sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops, and high-traffic areas. 

In addition, it is important for faculty, staff, and students to take responsibility for wiping down surfaces before and after use with supplies that will be available in academic buildings.


Housing plans for the fall semester were still in development at the time these FAQs were posted (6/5), please check back for updated information.


Changes in operating status will occur if we get a confirmed case on campus or if the Governor’s office issues changes in stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. The focus remains to keep students on campus and manage the infection rather than returning them to a different community where further infection could take place.


Yes. Moravian College has not only in-house experts in our public health, nursing, and rehabilitation science programs, but we also are partnered with St. Luke’s University Health Network, one of the premier hospital networks in the nation. The Moravian College Health Center is managed by St. Luke’s which gives us capabilities and resources often only seen at much larger universities with a medical school.  Consequently, we have been in regular contact with their leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, on key aspects of our plans.


Institutions may require students to provide their own face coverings but must make their best effort to ensure an adequate supply of face coverings.


As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves guidance from public health authorities and CDC are likely to change. The College will continue to follow the most up to date information on maintaining workplace safety. We will work with students to address all concerns for the most equitable educational experience possible. Any student with questions or who needs additional assistance is encouraged to contact the Accessibility Services Center by emailing asc@moravian.edu or calling (610) 861-1401. Similarly, our employees expect and deserve the safest work environment. Employees needing additional assistance are encouraged to contact Human Resources at hr@moravian.edu.


Academic Instruction

As we continue our academic mission during this time, students and faculty will see a number of changes this fall that emphasize the health and safety of everyone on our campus. These modifications are aimed at maintaining a robust instruction and learning environment while keeping all of our community members safe.

The student learning outcomes for our courses remain the same whether they are taught in person or online. Our courses must involve regular and substantive instructor interaction with students. With online teaching, instructors will:

  • Provide regular instruction and interact regularly with their students. 
  • Provide full and substantive assessments and regular responses to students’ coursework.
  • Be proactive and available in providing information or responding to students’ questions about the content of the course. (Instructors typically begin the semester with a class discussion about the content of the course to make sure that all students understand expectations.)

Instructors across campus are thinking carefully about how to interact with students and design teaching practices that promote learning in face-to-face, remote and online modes. The Teaching and Learning Center and the newly formed Office for Online Innovation, Information Technology, and the Provost’s Office offer workshops and provide resources and individual consultations for faculty on effective, evidence-based practices for remote and online teaching.


Some courses will be fully online, others will utilize dual modalities and others we plan to be primarily face-to-face. When determining which courses will be offered in-person, we emphasize in-person delivery of labs and fine and performing art courses. We will also prioritize other classes for in-person delivery whose academic outcomes are difficult to achieve virtually.


  • Planners in the FMPC department are drawing up diagrams for physical distancing in specific Moravian College buildings, classrooms, study spaces, and hallways using relevant guidelines from the CDC and others.
    • These diagrams will depict a conservative capacity of a classroom or study space given physical distancing and maximum group size guidelines, model seating arrangements, and take into account traffic patterns around classroom spaces.
  • Offering classes in a variety of modes
  • Moving classes to larger spaces
  • Splitting classes into multiple sessions
  • Limiting the number of students present in person on a rotating basis
  • Altering class schedules to increase time between classes to allow for disinfecting.
    • For instance, each semester, we offer some 8-week classes. If students are enrolled in fewer courses at one time, they have fewer contacts with other students in the classroom. This diminishes the opportunities for virus spread. In addition, shorter sessions create natural “breakoff points” within a semester if we need to end in-person instruction.

As we did in Spring 2020, Moravian College is fully ready to keep providing a quality education no matter what the delivery mode. Our distinction as an Apple Distinguished School and the fact that all students, faculty, and staff are issued MacBooks and iPads ensure that the entire campus community has access to the proper technology to be successful. All faculty are prepared to deliver classes online in the fall or at any other time. One difference between the Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters is that the Governor has indicated that students should remain on campus, even if we are fully online, to prevent passing infections on to other communities. Another is that faculty are engaged in intensive discussion and preparation throughout the summer on how to best continue the academic work whether they meet with students in-person or online.   


We are committed to delivering on our mission of education for all, and that is best done in person. We believe a great deal of learning and growth occurs in the residence halls, in academic and campus clubs, and on the athletic fields, which cannot be fully simulated by online means. We are planning a flexible model that can pivot to fully online if necessary and can also enable increasing dual modalities/in-person instruction, based on a strong mitigation model to isolate and contain COVID-19 spread, in line with recommendations from public health entities like the CDC.

We also know that the most effective form of education is hybrid, where some education is face-to-face and some is online. Consequently, most of our courses will have a mixture of face-to-face and online education. For a variety of reasons some of our students, an online choice may be most desirable, and we are going to seek to fulfill that need. For other students, a mixture of online and face-to-face works best. 


The faculty, chairs, and deans will work this summer to determine the mix of remote/online and in-person instruction. All intended modes of instruction will be determined by August 14.


This decision discourages travel back to campus after the break and allows students to remain home until the spring semester, reducing the chances of carrying the virus back and forth between home and campus.


FMPC teams will clean high-touch areas daily in addition to the overnight cleaning of office, workspaces, and administrative offices based on CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection and Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) protocols. FMPC will also maintain hand-sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops, and high-traffic areas. 

For public-facing administrative offices, many tasks/requests can still be done online, via email, or via phone calls. However if students, faculty or staff need to come into the administrative offices, they will follow physical distancing protocols and be equipped with plexiglass shields.

Faculty, staff, and students must also take responsibility for wiping down surfaces after use. The EPA's criteria for sanitizing will be communicated and posted. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.). 


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued guidance to colleges and universities that enables international students to temporarily participate in additional distance learning credits beyond what is allowed under visa rules if in-person courses are converted to online courses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact the Center for Global Education for advice and updates about your particular situation.


Contact the faculty member who is supervising your research and work with them to focus on different aspects that can be completed remotely (e.g.: data analysis and conducting tests in virtual environments) if progress on your research project is affected by the campus moving to a “limited” or “remote” operating mode, your own illness, or because you are in quarantine or in self-isolation.


Clinicals, student teaching and internships are planned for this coming year. Be in touch with your instructor about the details. If you cannot participate because of illness, are in quarantine or self-isolation, or if your site is closed, contact your supervisor or instructor and find out how hours can be fulfilled. 


If you have concerns or are unsure about your instructor’s plans for remote teaching, stay in touch and ask questions. You and your instructor know best where you are in the class. It’s best to reach out yourself rather than having someone else do it for you. Check your syllabus and Canvas course shell and other communication from your instructors to see if your question or concern has already been addressed. As we work through transitions to remote learning, your questions might not be resolved in one email or message. 


At Moravian College, all students at all times have the right to lodge a complaint or grievance they deem important without fear of retaliation of any sort or any other adverse consequence. See the Student Handbook for the processes regarding student appeals, complaints, and grievances.


  • If you are already registered with Accessibility Services, please contact the office with specific questions at asc@moravian.edu or (610) 861-1401. 
  • If you are not registered, you will need to register with Accessibility Services and provide appropriate documentation of a disability.
  • Review remote learning advice and support for online courses. 

Yes, you can still place an online order from the Moravian Book Shop. The book shop is shipping orders as quickly as possible, however, you may experience delays in delivery as many carriers are experiencing heavier than normal volume.


We are in the process of developing an online textbook ordering system. There will be further updates provided to you as academic schedules are finalized.


Campus Experience

Although students will be taking finals from home this fall, during the semester, residential students will actually be in their residence (and thus the dining halls) the same number of days. The five (5) days not on campus for the last week of classes are offset by the four (4) days of Fall Break (Saturday, October 3 through Tuesday, October 6) and the day before Thanksgiving, which will be spent on campus.

The College is preparing for a COVID-ready campus experience so the traditional campus experience can be preserved to the greatest extent possible, with safety protocols and guidelines in place that protect students, faculty, and staff. 


Yes. We are fortunate to be partnered with St. Luke’s University Health Center, one of the premier university hospitals in the nation. They will provide us with the most current testing and expertise in dealing with containment, mitigation, and treatment. 


The information from the Governor’s office is that it is best to keep college students on campus, rather than sending them back to their communities and risking further spreading of the virus. Therefore, if public health agencies notify us of an outbreak, Moravian will reduce in-person activities and move to completely online classes, while having students remain on campus. The College is also prepared to test, trace, quarantine, and isolate affected students on campus. St. Luke’s University Health Network will provide hospitalization to affected students, if necessary. If the Governor orders a campus closure, we will work with families for an orderly exit from campus. Planning is in process for a fully remote fall semester, so that students can maintain their academic progress, should the need arise.   


We expect everyone who comes to campus to observe and respect our campus health and safety protocols. Likewise, we expect that our students will adhere to public health orders in the community, and expect that they will be held accountable by local law enforcement in a manner equal to any other resident.


Reeves Library will be open following the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Library Reopening Guidelines, with cleaning and disinfecting protocols in place and with the expectation of appropriate social distancing of patrons. Hours will be posted online (moravian.edu/reeves) and on location.


More information about move-in will be provided by the Office of Housing in the weeks ahead; all appropriate physical distancing and other safety protocols will be followed.


If you feel you are being treated unfairly, singled out, or targeted based on your health, skin color, race, ethnicity, or national origin, please know that there are reporting and support options available on our campus. You can visit BRIT (Bias Response and Intervention Team) to explore your options. Discriminatory and harassing behaviors are against College policy and have no place in our community. Additional information about other health and wellness related support is also available.


We plan for games to be played without spectators and for testing to be conducted before visiting any other campuses. More information will be provided by the Athletics department in conjunction with NCAA and conference guidelines in the weeks ahead.


Resource Alignment

Tuition has been established for 2020/2021. The student learning outcomes for our courses remain the same whether they are taught in person or online. Financial relief for other services, such as Room and Board that may be impacted by COVID-19 will be determined based on the level of disruption.


Fees have actually been lowered since last year. There are no plans to adjust or remove fees for the 2020/2021 academic year at this time.


Essential staff include Campus Police, Facilities Management, Planning and Construction (FMPC), Mail Room (mail delivery), members of Student Life (per the Vice President’s assignment), Information Technology, and others as determined by the specific emergency.