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Fall 2021 Semester Update

Bethel logo stacked for news

by Bethel University

Bethel logo stacked for news

It has been a little over a year since we announced spring break was going to be extended for a week due to COVID-19. That ultimately led to the semester being finished online and everyone being sent home for a period of time.

We have learned and adapted a lot in the past year, most importantly that our Bethel community is strong, resilient and that by working together, we can accomplish great things.

From the beginning, our faculty demonstrated their dedication to providing our students continuity in their learning process by quickly and creatively implementing remote and hybrid instruction. Our staff showed their commitment by tackling the day-to-day needs of the University. Our students responded to these challenges with perseverance and the determination that defines what it means to be a Wildcat.

As we near the end of the spring 2021 semester, there have been many questions across campus and the community regarding upcoming plans.

Looking ahead to summer, Bethel will continue to offer in-person and online courses for the summer terms through our College of Arts & Sciences.

Graduation will be held in person on Saturday, May 8, 10:00 am at Wildcat Stadium. Safety guidelines will be in place. At this time, each graduate will be limited to the number of guests to reduce total capacity. Due to the limited capacity, the ceremony will be livestreamed. We are looking forward to gathering together to recognize the tremendous work of our graduates!

Although the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still with us and will linger into the future, we are hopeful and actively planning for a near-normal operation this fall for our College of Arts & Sciences. This will include:

  • Majority face-to-face classes
  • No hybrid classes
  • Class sizes will be limited
  • More activities and events on campus
  • Continue to monitor federal, state and local health guidelines on protocols such as masks and social distancing

The College of Health Sciences and College of Professional Studies have both run the past two semesters smoothly with some alterations and plan to continue near-normal operations for fall 2021 with continued monitoring of federal, state and local health guidelines.

Our priority from the beginning of this pandemic has been to provide a safe place to live, work and study for our students, faculty and staff, and this goal will not change as we make plans for the fall.

While we are planning and preparing for a return to near-normal operations, we also know that those plans can be changed at any time.

In the weeks and months ahead, I will share additional details for the fall semester as our plans are further developed and defined. In the meantime, should you have questions or recommendations, please reach out.

Your resilience and perseverance through this year have been remarkable. Help continue to combat the virus. Keep wearing those masks. Watch your distance. Wash your hands.

It has been a long journey, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter each day. I am looking forward to the day when we celebrate our return to normalcy, and our Bethel masks can become collector’s items.

Bethel Forevermore,
Dr. Walter Butler
President, Bethel University