Returning to Campus

With plans for fall underway, we have an opportunity to return to our Stonehill campus and continue to offer an education of the highest caliber—one that inspires both the minds and hearts of our students.

Fall Semester FAQs

Stonehill has two task forces—one focused on academics and another focused-on campus safety, logistics, and College policies and guidelines—guiding our fall semester planning. Much of their work to-date is reflected in the College’s Returning to Campus page.

They will continue to refine the academic structure for this upcoming fall, ensure our community protocols best support a safe return to campus for faculty, staff, and students, and identify and prepare for potential contingencies that may occur. In this work, the College takes its lead from guidance shared by federal, state, and local experts on COVID-19—something we continually monitor and use to update our plans and policies. 

Given our commitment to the health and safety of our community, we are confident that we will be able to continue taking the steps to ensure we can be in-person and on campus for the fall, if permitted to do so.

We will continue to update our plans and policies throughout the summer and share them here and on the Returning to Campus page.

Yes, we are preparing to house students on campus this fall using a reduced density model where possible. Learn more at our Returning to Campus—Residential Living page.

As an institution, we are committed to a high-caliber, in-person residential and academic experience for as many students as possible.

To make that happen, the College is instituting a number of changes to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our community. That includes daily self-check expectations for everyone on campus, changes to our public spaces to align with expert health and safety guidance, and more flexible academic and community programming.

There are still many questions that we do not yet have answers to, and we recognize that this uncertainty can be unsettling. But we will continue to communicate with parents, students, faculty and staff throughout the summer, as well as update our Returning to Campus webpage, as new details are finalized.

As academic leadership plans for the fall, they are working with our faculty to ensure that all of the College’s courses are prepared, both in structure and in technological capacity, to deliver remote instruction if necessary. You can find more details on our Returning to Campus—Academic Experience page.

Along with our work in preparing for students on campus this fall, departments are also developing detailed plans that include all elements of the Stonehill student experience in order to engage our off-campus students in as many aspects of campus life as possible.

Academics

Stonehill’s faculty are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic along with our students and staff. They understand the wide range of challenges that students may face due to COVID-19 and will be flexible in their approach. Students are encouraged to communicate directly with their professors regarding any issues they encounter.

The College is working through every learning space on campus, removing seats as necessary and rearranging layouts to ensure physical distancing guidelines are met and maintained.

In addition, we are looking to convert larger non-classroom spaces into classrooms to accommodate larger classes, and we are exploring additional class scheduling options to maximize the number of classes held each day. 

No, students who are residential or commuting will be expected to attend all in-person sections of their courses.

In order to provide a rich and engaging classroom experience as we practice physical distancing and work to protect the health and safety of students and faculty, Stonehill will provide three modes of teaching and learning: HyFlex teaching model, Hybrid courses, and full-online courses. The full-online courses will constitute around 25% of fall course selections.

Students may defer their enrollment for up to two semesters and take a full course load of online classes elsewhere. Students must work with the Registrar’s Office to obtain prior approval for transfer of course credits from another institution. When those students plan to return and seek to confirm their enrollment at Stonehill, they will be required to demonstrate that they did take courses online during their period away from the College.

If, instead, a student chooses to take in-person instruction at another institution, they will be required to apply as a transfer candidate. Both deferred and transferring students will retain the scholarships they were initially provided—subject to our ability to return to an in-person and residential experience in the semester they choose to enroll.

Residential Living

The College is working diligently to provide a safe living and learning environment for our students. With that being said, no institution, including Stonehill, can guarantee that its students will not become exposed to COVID-19.

We encourage families to have open and honest dialogue regarding the student’s level of comfort with living on a residential campus. If students choose to commute for a period of time, they are encouraged to contact the Office of Residence Life when they feel ready to move onto campus.

In early August, Stonehill will implement a phased move-in process where students will have the option to drop off their belongings over several weeks to avoid typical move-in crowding. Students will then return home until their official move-in date on August 20th for first-year students or August 22nd/23rd for returning students.

Any student wishing to request a housing accommodation due to medical reasons should do so through the accommodations process, which is outlined on the Accessibility Resources website. The College will work to best accommodate students with documented disabilities. Limited space will be available for vulnerable populations. As such, medically vulnerable individuals are encouraged to consider opting for remote learning for the fall semester.

Reducing density in the residence halls, which allows for appropriate isolation as well as quarantine rooms, may result in returning students being assigned a different room than the one they chose during room selection. If students have questions or concerns, they should contact the Office of Residence Life.

We are monitoring emerging safety guidance in regard to the use of air conditioners in residence halls and will communicate additional information once we know more.

We are monitoring emerging guidance regarding items such as air purifiers and will communicate any potential restrictions when we know more. 

We will be asking students to bring specific items to campus: a thermometer, additional masks/face coverings, fever-reducing medication, and EPA-approved cleaning products.

We recognize that residential students may need to leave campus for work, externships, or other necessary activities. With that said, all of us have a responsibility to ourselves and our neighbors, as what we do as individuals protects the entire community. As such, we will be advising students to avoid unnecessary travel so as to limit their potential exposure and help keep Stonehill safe. 

In order to limit exposure and best ensure the safety of our community members, the College will not be permitting guests within the residence halls—additional restrictions will be communicated as soon as they have been finalized.

Residence Life will make rooms available for isolation and quarantine should they be necessary. No other individuals will be permitted in these spaces.

First-Year Students

We started the academic advising process at Orientation this June with general academic information sessions, which were offered for all students.

At the same time, new incoming students were assigned a faculty member/academic advisor who will work with them to develop an individual plan for fall coursework.

Residence Life staff will be completing housing assignments for first-year students in July.

First-year students planning to live on-campus this fall must complete their housing application. This link can be found on the new student checklist on the Summer Orientation website. The housing application is due July 5th.

Campus Life

The College is committed to providing a robust and engaging campus experience. While we are currently unable to gather in large groups, our staff is already working on creative ways to engage our students while following guidance from state and local public officials.

Our 70+ student clubs and organizations contribute significantly to the life of the College and will continue to do so. To best ensure safety, organizational meetings and events will be either held virtually or be restricted to small gatherings to allow for appropriate physical distancing.

The NCAA and the NE-10 Conference have not made a determination on fall athletics yet, but we are monitoring all guidance closely. As new information becomes available, we will finalize College policies and procedures relative to athletic and fitness programs, including use of the Sports Complex.

This may include limitations on team travel, number of competitions, locker room use, and spectators.

The College is preparing to use its seven dining venues across campus to help reduce dining-area congestion. Those areas will have signage communicating health and safety tips, plexiglass partitions to keep students and staff appropriately distanced, changes to seating options to allow for physical distancing, and a shift away from self-service options.

In addition, new technology will be provided to allow for pre-ordering of meals, and as in public spaces across campus, we are increasing the frequency of cleaning in our dining areas.

Yes, office managers will be able to hire students for work study positions if their buildings can accommodate physical distancing and the work required is deemed essential to office operations. Many departments will be asked to consider forgoing work study for the fall semester and possibly the spring so that College resources can be redeployed to fund work study students assisting in classrooms and helping faculty with technology needs.

Computer labs on campus will be open, with layout changes as necessary to ensure proper physical distancing. Each station will have materials for disinfecting the area to ensure that students are able to use the space safely. 

Students without regular access to personal technology can also reach out to Information Technology for additional assistance.

All health and safety policy violations will be handled through ongoing education, and if need be, through our Community Standards process.

Financial

The College has long been extremely careful with both our annual budget and our endowment to ensure we were prepared for any economic challenges, so we are well positioned for this moment. While Stonehill, like every organization whether it is a college or a business, has seen a financial impact, we’re confident the College will remain strong through COVID-19 and well into the future.

The College maintains a commitment to making education accessible for both new and returning students. All students are encouraged to work individually with our Office of Student Financial Assistance to address any changes in their household circumstances and ability to afford a Stonehill education.

A determination on alternative pricing in the event of remote instruction has yet to be made. While we are not anticipating a change, it is important to note that any adjustments in our cost of attendance would also involve a reevaluation of financial aid resources as well, as those resources are tied to cost.

At this time, we are planning for a number of possible contingencies—but we believe the College will be able to open in a traditional format come this fall. With that said, any significant changes in instruction or housing would result in a reevaluation of both costs and of eligibility for financial assistance. 

If payments for room and board have already been made but the semester has not yet begun, the College would make a number of adjustments, including housing costs. If students are allowed to move in, but required to move off campus for a period of time, they will receive a prorated credit for every day that they are not living in their rooms. That credit would be applied to a future semester or any existing balance.

Students who need to leave campus for a period of time in order to isolate or quarantine will not be issued a pro-rated room and board refund.

COVID-19 FAQs

Take a look at details and frequently asked questions regarding how the College is handling COVID-19 on campus.

Student support resources

The College has collected resources and information from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Information Technology, as well as details on Spring 2020 deadlines and more.