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Greenville Business Magazine

Citadel planning August return to campus for 2020-21 academic year

May 12, 2020 05:14PM ● By David Dykes

The president of The Citadel said the college is planning to reopen campus in August to receive cadets and students and begin the 2020-2021 academic year.

“Our priority throughout this crisis was, and will remain, the health and safety of everyone,” Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (retired) told the campus community in a memo released May 12. “Our staff continues studying best practices, and we are learning a lot this summer from the Marines as they stage recruits on campus for observation before shipping to Parris Island for boot camp.  Although we are proud to serve this important national security mission, it is important we set conditions for the return of The South Carolina Corps of Cadets and the in-person experience for which The Citadel is known.”

Walters said the college’s closure in the spring protected the safety of campus population while assuring cadets and students were able to finish the academic year and maintain progress toward their degrees. He underscored his appreciation for the internet education capabilities, normally only used for online courses offered through The Citadel Graduate College.

“The development of our online resources in the past few years allowed our faculty and staff to quickly pivot to the fully online instruction needed due to the pandemic," he said. "However, the heart of The Citadel brand is our Corps of Cadets and the residential, military model used in achieving our mission to produce principled leaders. With that in mind, developing plans for the return of the Corps is a primary focus.”

Walters emphasized that the graduate college, veteran, and active-duty students also benefit from face-to-face interaction with Citadel faculty where possible.

Though the intent is for operations to resume with as much normalcy as possible, Walters outlined the need for flexibility to adhere with laws, orders and best practices as the Covid-19 crisis continues.

“We must be ready, willing, and able to refine how we operate on campus to maximize everyone’s safety," he said. "Barracks, classrooms, the mess hall, and other centers of concentration could see changes to operations, as will campus generally.  These will be dictated as the situation warrants.”

 Among details related to re-opening the campus, school officials said:

  • Based on current conditions and guidance, and the continuing threat posed by Covid-19, all Summer I courses are online only.  A small number of Summer II session courses, particularly those with lab elements, will be offered face-to-face, with social distancing procedures in place. The remainder are adapted to an online-only model.
  • The Citadel Student Success Center is offering virtual summer tutoring for cadets and students beginning Wednesday, May 13 through the end of Summer I. A new schedule and set of offerings will be announced for Summer II. Summer I appointments are available for accounting, biology, chemistry, math, nursing, psychology, Spanish and writing.
  • The Citadel Success Institute (CSI) for this summer is cancelled. However, an online orientation course for all incoming cadets will be made available at no cost. Details will be provided to the incoming freshmen class. 
  • The Citadel is working with a number of state, commercial and community partners to procure and employ testing for everyone who will be on campus, and to develop the capability to re-test as needed.
  • The intent is to hold Matriculation Day on Aug. 17 for freshmen, and the return of upper-class cadets on Aug. 25. Classes tentatively would resume for Citadel Graduate College students Aug. 26, and Aug. 28 for cadets. The Citadel will announce any refinements to the schedule, and update Matriculation Day web page well in advance of Matriculation Day. 
  • The senior leadership team is using the latest data and medical guidance to determine how cadets will be housed on campus and how the campus will handle on-campus cases of Covid-19. Details will be provided when available.
  • The college hopes to maintain the fall athletic schedules as fully as safety allows, following established pandemic protocols. Processes and details are being developed, school officials said.