06/11/2021: Fall 2021 Planning

Faculty, Staff and Students,

Nyack College is eager to have our community meeting in person on campus and deeply appreciates the way all of you have worked to navigate this past year.  The College continues to be guided by New York State’s official guidelines, and by the advice of public health authorities, in all of its work.

Safety will remain the College’s main objective as we plan for fall 2021. What we’ve learned and experienced with COVID-19 over the past year provides a strong foundation for our plans. The fall planning will continue to evolve and be flexible based on state and local guidelines and information on infection rates, disease variants and other relevant conditions. Our fall 2021 plan will be a living document with the flexibility to adapt or be updated should the trajectory of the pandemic or these guidelines change.

The new landscape this fall calls for both resilience and adaptation, embracing new ways of doing things and also keeping some of the guidelines already in place.  A significant aspect of the Christian college journey is being part of a grace-filled community. Out of respect for each other during the fall 2021 return, it is important that everyone on campus adheres to the policies and procedures to create the safest environment possible. Remembering that expectations may differ in various areas, we ask all community members to act with care, empathy and compassion around one another.  When we do this we give ourselves to the process of being transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus, making His life in us attractive to the world.

The school is encouraging new students to apply for college now, especially any students who delayed applying because they weren’t sure what college would look like during the pandemic.  Click Here to apply.

Here are a few key elements of the developing plan.

Vaccinations

  • As we return to campus for the fall 2021 semester we want to strongly recommend and encourage all students, faculty and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, Nyack College is still deliberating whether to require the COVID-19 vaccine for students and staff living and working in the 150 Bay Street, Jersey City residential facility.  Once a decision is made about requiring vaccines at the residential facility in Jersey City, the College will communicate it to students and staff who live and work there.
    Again, we strongly encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated. We believe this will allow us to return safely to more normal operations in the fall.

COVID-19 Testing

    • Surveillance testing for commuter students, faculty and staff will occur at regular intervals throughout the semester.
    • Residential students that are not vaccinated will undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
    • Residential students who are not vaccinated will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result when they arrive at the residential housing facility in Jersey City. The test should be taken within three days prior to arrival. 
    • Residential students who are not vaccinated will also need to be tested three days after they return to campus and each time they spend a night off-campus. They will not need to quarantine during this time unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Students living on campus will be expected to adhere to community health and safety guidelines. Guidelines established for the 2020/2021 school year will be reviewed and any changes communicated during summer 2021 prior to the start of the fall semester.
  • We want to return to a strong community engagement environment as soon as practically possible. 
  • Faculty and staff presence on campus will be restored, with some flexibility in telecommuting for employees with ongoing health concerns or limitations. At the same time, we anticipate that the need for remote instruction and student services will continue. This will give students a greater range of options for engaging with the College based on their family and personal situations.
  • Our plan will be designed for adherence to NY State Education Department  and Middle States requirements. Namely, academic programs have been approved for residential delivery, which means we cannot deliver more than 50% of the coursework for a given program online unless it is an approved online degree program. This requirement was suspended for the 2020/2021 academic year.

As more details are confirmed, this page will be updated and revised depending on circumstances and any new guidance from state and local health officials.

David C. Jennings
EVP and Treasurer