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Villa Maria College announced it intends to resume face-to-face classes this August, in alignment with the start of its fall 2021 semester.
The college determined it has the necessary space available to safely deliver face-to-face classes on campus, something it said college students overwhelmingly want. Villa Maria will follow federal, state and local guidance on health protocols that will be in place. Students will still have flexible options available to them to take classes online if they choose; however, the primary delivery of courses will be in person and on campus.
“We have decided that the college will move ahead with its plan to be face-to-face this coming fall,” said Dr. Matthew Giordano, Villa Maria’s president. “We know that our students benefit most from as much in-person interaction as possible. They choose us for this very reason, so we are going to do everything in our power to enable in-person instruction in the fall.”
The college said it will take immediate action to prepare for a safe and efficient fall semester. Existing classrooms and other shared spaces will be rearranged, and new classrooms will be created to reflect the increased capacity. The college will uphold its cleaning policies and its health screening procedures it said have proven to be effective.
This decision comes after two consecutive hybrid semesters, during which students attend in-person classes on campus 50% of the time.
“Despite the success of our hybrid model, the college has the space available to accommodate our students, who benefit from their in-person interactions with us,” said Dr. Ryan Hartnett, Villa Maria’s vice president for academic affairs. “No matter what the circumstances are in the fall, we will continue to exceed the health and safety requirements of the county to ensure we are delivering the top-notch educational experience our students came to Villa Maria to receive.”
Assuming conditions in the Western New York area permit, the college plans to resume academic field trips as well as in-person tutoring, special events and other student activities in person. The health and safety of the entire Villa Maria community remains the college’s paramount concern. The college will continue to follow the guidance of elected officials. This situation is ongoing and will be monitored closely by college leadership.
For the college’s complete response to coronavirus, as well as real-time updates, visit www.villa.edu/coronavirus.
Buffalo’s Villa Maria College is a private, Catholic college, founded in 1961 by the Felician Sisters. For more information, call 716-896-0700 or visit www.villa.edu.