Maine Maritime Academy President William J. Brennan said today that the college will reopen its Castine, Me., campus, holding in-person courses beginning August 31.
He said that college faculty and staff had been working tirelessly to develop ways in which to deliver a rigorous academic experience for students while prioritizing the health and safety of the community given the ongoing threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic/
“We have built our plans around four primary considerations: 1) operating in the safest possible manner to manage campus spaces and develop safety programs as we repopulate the campus; 2) teaching and operating classes and laboratories in the COVID-19 environment, including enhancing our ability to conduct remote instruction; 3) addressing the impact and scheduling of summer programs, including annual training cruises and field experiences; and 4) addressing changes in infrastructure to support education, including library services and tutoring,” said Brennan.
Fall classes fit into three categories, depending on the needs posed by distinct course curricula. For classes that rely on in-person instruction, courses will meet in a traditional face-to-face mode, with extensive safety protocols to include distancing, PPE, and sanitization. Others will operate as hybrid classes where components, such as labs that must be done in person, are conducted face-to-face, while other parts of the class will be completed via remote instruction. Finally, when possible, some courses will be completed fully via remote instruction.
“Programs of study at Maine Maritime Academy derive exceptional value from their hands-on nature, or experiential learning. We understand that resuming face-to-face education is critical to our students’ success as we look to resume our programs this fall,” said Acting Provost and Engineering Professor Mark Coté. “That said, we must still create the safest possible environment for our community; safety will be the foundation of all that we do.”
Additional planning initiatives focus on the regimental program, residential life, athletics, and dining. Social distancing, increased cleaning and sanitizing, and reducing the overall numbers of people on campus at any one time are built into each area. The college’s dedicated Fall 2020 website includes detailed information and will feature further updates in the coming weeks.
“Our goal is to bring our students back to campus safely. We cannot do this without careful consideration and planning by our faculty and staff and they have dedicated themselves to this important task over the last three months,” said Brennan. “While we anticipate significant changes to how we operate going forward, we are grateful for the hard work of so many and will continue to share updates with our community as they are available.”