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Carthage announces plans to reopen campus this fall

June 23, 2020

In a letter to students on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, President Swallow announced plans for opening campus this fall.

Dear Students,

I hope that this email finds you well and enjoying your summer. We have missed you! I am pleased to share with you today Carthage’s plans for reopening our campus and returning to in-person, residential education this fall. 

It’s important to know that campus will look a little different when we gather again. Because your health and safety remain our top priority, we have made several changes to our fall calendar and important modifications to our campus facilities to create a safe environment. These plans have been developed carefully, after much research and consultation with internal and external experts, as well as local and state public health officials. 

I cannot overstate how excited we are to welcome you back to campus! We want you in your classrooms, labs, music lessons, art studios, and extracurricular activities — learning from your professors in person again, collaborating with study groups, and building even more connections across our Carthage family. 

But we also want you to be healthy. And that means all of us need to take important steps as we move forward in this new era. All of us will play a role in keeping our community safe. 

Please read the information below carefully, and share it with your families. Additional details are available on our COVID-19 website, Still more details will be finalized in the coming weeks.

We learned a great deal about being adaptable this past spring. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we will need to stay flexible. We must be prepared to shift between in-person, physically distanced, and virtual learning. We must be ready to be physically distanced even within our buildings. But no matter the circumstances, Carthage will continue to provide all of our students with a transformative education. 

It’s going to be a great year, and we cannot wait to see you this fall.


President John Swallow


Carthage College Fall Plans: Ensuring a Safe Return

Calendar Modifications

  • Carthage will modify our fall semester calendar to help minimize risk. We will begin the fall semester one week early, and stagger residential students’ arrival to allow for physical distancing during move-in.

  • New students will arrive in groups Aug. 28-30, and New Student Orientation will be Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
  • Returning students will return to campus in groups Sept. 4-6. A detailed schedule for arrival will be posted to The Bridge in mid-July.

  • Fall semester classes will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 2. The first three days of classes will be online. This allows us to limit how many students are on campus for that first week, while giving new students time to adjust. 

  • In-person classes will begin Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day).

  • Students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving Break to minimize risk associated with travel. Instead, the last week of fall classes and final exams will be online only. The fall semester will end Dec. 9.

  • See the full fall calendar on our COVID-19 website

Residence Halls

  • Carthage residence halls will be open this fall, and all students who registered to live on campus this year will be able to do so. 
  • Returning students should expect to live in the hall and room selected during housing sign-up in April, unless they have been notified otherwise. Due to the College’s need to prepare for quarantine spaces, some students’ room assignments did need to be changed. 
  • Click here to read more about housing and to see a list of new items you should bring with you.  

Fall Classes: In-person and Adaptive

  • Your professors are excited to welcome students for in-person classes this fall. We will be making necessary adjustments to classrooms and the fall class schedule to ensure that physical distancing and other health guidelines are followed.

  • Carthage faculty are taking steps this summer to build all of their courses in a new, robust adaptive design, should any student need to move to remote learning at any time.

  • Classroom capacity will be limited to ensure physical distancing. This means that some class meeting times and locations may need to change, and some courses may need to be entirely online. Our faculty are working to finalize the fall schedule; students with online classes will be notified so they can make changes if desired. 

  • No matter what format your classes are in, we are confident that you will have a rich and meaningful experience.

#StaySafeCarthage Guidelines

  • Keeping our community healthy during this time requires all of us to do our part. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be expected to wear face masks during class, in meetings, in common areas, and when appropriate physical distancing is not possible.

  • All community members are also expected to self-monitor their symptoms and follow physical distancing guidelines.

  • Classrooms, conference rooms, common areas, and dining areas will have reduced seating capacity.

  • Signage across campus — such as floor markers and directional arrows — will provide reminders to stay 6 feet apart.

More information about our fall plans can be found at

Please reach out if you have questions, and enjoy the rest of your summer. We can’t wait to see you this fall.