Goldey-Beacom reverses course, to hold fall semester online

WILMINGTON — In a reversal of its earlier plans, Goldey-Beacom College announced four days before classes begin that it will now conduct all undergraduate courses online.  

“Although we optimistically planned for the return of our students to the classroom this fall, we have been ready for this abrupt change,” said Dr. Colleen Perry Keith in a prepared statement.

Move-in weekend, which was scheduled for Aug. 21 through 23, is canceled.

Graduate and doctoral classes are already entirely online.

Up until Thursday, the college planned to use a hybrid format, originally intending to amend the fall schedule to end a week earlier. 

Over the last several months, the leadership team has been developing a contingency plan for multiple scenarios, according to a news release. 

The college determined that due to “prevailing conditions” it would transition to online instruction. 

“This is not a last-minute scramble, but rather a sad concession to the inevitable reality of the times, and we are prepared to meet it with the same level of integrity we would have brought to the hybrid class format,” Dr. Keith said.

Fall classes will begin online Monday. On-campus housing for residential students is suspended for the fall semester.

The small college in Pike Creek Valley, a suburb of Wilmington, has approximately 1,800 students enrolled.

The decision to move online follows a similar one from the University of Delaware, which also reversed course and determined a majority of its classes would be offered virtually, costing the university between $75 to $100 million between housing, financial aid, safety measures and more. 

Meanwhile, Delaware State University and Wesley College still plan to bring their students back for a hybrid semester. 

New students at Wesley began moving in earlier this week, with returning students scheduled to start moving in Thursday through Saturday. Wesley football players arrived to campus last week to begin conditioning before the rest of the students returned to Dover.

Classes at DSU are slated to begin Aug. 25. The university has partnered with Testing For America, a nonprofit that helps connect schools with COVID-19 tests. 

Wilmington University and Delaware Technical Community College determined their fall semesters would be held online earlier in the summer.